J.D. Edwards shakes up management as loss looms

Business applications vendor J.D. Edwards & Co. Monday warned that it expects to report a loss for its fiscal first quarter and said it’s bringing in a new chief operating officer, plus another executive who will take over direct responsibility for the company’s marketing activities.

Denver-based J.D. Edwards projected a loss from “normalized operations” of up to two cents per share during the quarter ended Jan. 31, on revenue of US$208 million to $218 million. That would be down from $232 million in the same period a year ago, when the company reported a net profit of $3.6 million before accounting for some acquisition-related costs.

Software license sales are expected to total $79 million to $84 million in this year’s first quarter, according to today’s announcement. “We did not execute well this quarter, and we are addressing that immediately,” said J.D. Edwards CEO C. Edward McVaney in a statement. “Our products and vision for collaborative commerce are solid. We just need to focus on better, more consistent execution in the sales and service areas.”

The person who will be in charge of making that happen is Hank Bonde, who was named to take over as the company’s chief operating officer from predecessor Dave Girard. In that job, the 55-year-old Bonde reports to McVaney and will be responsible for all of J.D. Edwards’ sales, marketing, consulting, training and customer service operations. The software vendor said Girard has resigned and left the company.

McVaney, who also is president and chairman at J.D. Edwards, said the addition of Bonde “will allow me to increase my focus on business strategy and our software development efforts.” Bonde worked at IBM for 17 years and last summer was named president and chief operating officer at Tachyon Inc., a provider of satellite-based Internet access services that’s headquartered in San Diego. He also worked previously at Los Angeles Cellular Telephone Co. and BellSouth Cellular Co.

The management shakeup follows a previous one last spring in which J.D. Edwards co-founder McVaney took back the CEO job after giving it up in late 1998. Shortly after that change, the company laid off about 15 percent of its workforce and reported a $27.3 million operating loss for the quarter that ended last April. It had another operating loss in the next quarter but then rebounded with a $9.7 million net profit in the fourth quarter of its last fiscal year.

J.D. Edwards also announced today that it has hired Leslie Wyatt as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Wyatt, 50, most recently was in charge of worldwide marketing at Harbinger Corp., an e-commerce software vendor that was acquired by San Diego-based Peregrine Systems Inc. last June. He will report to Bonde in his new job at J.D. Edwards.

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