Top Execs Leave Printing Site Noosh

SAN FRANCISCO (07/20/2000) - Three top executives have left Noosh Inc., a printing startup that recently withdrew its public offering and laid off 20 percent of its workforce.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, which helps businesses buy and sell goods and services related to high-end printing, says Hagi Schwartz, Noosh's CFO, will leave the company. It also confirms the earlier departure of Kevin Akeroyd, Noosh's VP of sales. It says Tim Moore, Noosh's general counsel and VP of strategic alliances, will also step down but will continue to advise the company.

In May, citing a soft market, Noosh withdrew its initial public offering. The company subsequently announced it had laid off about 45 employees, a little more than 20 percent of its staff, as it targeted its services to a smaller number of large customers.

Schwartz, Akeroyd and Moore were unavailable to comment.

Dave Hannebrink, Noosh's senior VP of marketing and business development, declined to discuss the specific reasons for the departures. Generally, he said, the departures were part of Noosh's plan to refocus its business. He added that Noosh has raised about $88 million in capital and had $59 million in the bank in March. He declined, however, to give more current figures for the company's cash reserves.

The departures, particularly that of Schwartz, suggest that Noosh is unlikely to revive its postponed IPO anytime soon. Hannebrink, citing Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, declined to discuss the timing of Noosh's potential offering.

Noosh helps link companies that sell printing services and goods with those that buy them, taking a percentage of each transaction. Hannebrink says Noosh has added several important new customers, including General Electric. Between the first and second quarters of this year, he added, Noosh has tripled the dollar value of the transactions it has brokered. In its most recent filing with the SEC, the company reported just US$68,000 in revenues through March 31.

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