AvantGo CEO quits as company is delisted

AvantGo Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Owen announced his resignation Tuesday, as shares of the struggling mobile software maker were booted from the Nasdaq exchange for failing to meet Nasdaq's minimum price requirements.

Nasdaq requires that companies listed on the exchange consistently maintain a price of at least US$1 per share. AvantGo's (AVGO) shares last closed above $1 in April, and ended trading Tuesday at $0.58.

AvantGo's shares will move from Nasdaq's National Market to the exchange's SmallCap Market by Sept. 30. That's also the date on which Owen will turn over the company's reigns to David Cooper, now AvantGo's chief financial officer. Cooper will retain that position and also become AvantGo's chief operating officer, running day-to-day affairs while the company searches for a new CEO.

Board member James Richardson has already taken over from Owen as AvantGo's chairman, the company said.

Owen joined five-year-old AvantGo in 2000, succeeding founder Felix Lin. A former vice president at Dell Computer Corp., where he oversaw Dell's Internet strategy, Owen shepherded AvantGo through a September 2000 IPO (initial public offering) that raised $66 million.

But the company's post-boom fortunes have been grimmer: It has not yet generated a profit, and now has a market capitalization of about $16 million. In its most recent quarter, AvantGo posted a net loss of $4.3 million on revenue of $5.3 million.

AvantGo's business strategy and product lineup have also shifted with the changing IT and economic climate. The company first attracted attention with its free software for consumers, which allowed "channels" of Web content to be downloaded and viewed offline on a handheld device. AvantGo still supports its consumer software but now focuses on enterprise offerings, including mobile CRM (customer relationship management), SCM (supply chain management), marketing and data synchronization applications.

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