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April 9, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Open Environment Corp has its head in its hands. Shares in the Boston, Massachusetts-based three-tier application development and OSF Distributed Computing Environment house tumbled $1.12 to a 52-week low of $5.00 in trading yesterday after it warned that it will record a loss for its first fiscal quarter of 1996 quarter to March 31 and that its president and CEO Nathan Morton has resigned. Open Environment Corp (OEC) says it failed to close a number of large orders and that as a result its Q1 results, due on April 30, will come in below analyst’s expectations, which had been pegged at break even. Only a couple of weeks ago OEC was forced to restate its fiscal 1995 numbers to reflect the delayed shipment of a $1.85m order, leaving it with a profit of $49,500 on turnover of $29.3m, compared to a $1.3m profit on revenue of $31.1m it had previously published. OEC, whose DCE-based application development tools business grew rapidly through 1995, says Morton resigned because he did not have the skill set for the company’s increasingly technology-oriented market. Philip Copeland, founder and chairman of Australian repository and tools house Jarrah Technologies Pty Ltd which OEC acquired last August (CI No 2,747), takes over as acting CEO; VP and co-founder Adam Honig is interim president. After four years of sending out sometimes confused messages about its market, technology and mission (most of its customers are DCE shops but OEC doesn’t like us to think of it as a DCE house these days) the company says it’ll stand up on April 30 and tell us what it’s really all about. It plans new packaging and product enhancements, including unbundled components, discreet management tools and additional Web and Java technologies, plus a new corporate strategy and focus. It expects an executive search to take a full quarter. The company wouldn’t say if it’ll shed other staff, although its pre- announcement home page described it as having 230 employees compared to the 200 declared in its revenue warning.

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