Inktomi Narrows Focus, Appoints New CFO

Narrowly missing analysts' forecasts for third quarter results, the search services firm cuts back on content networking.
With an eye to achieving profitability, Inktomi Wednesday revealed it will narrow its focus to its Web search and enterprise information retrieval areas and reduce its content networking group. It also named a new chief financial officer.

The company said it will consolidate operations in the content networking group and trim headcount by about 270 workers, effective immediately. However, Inktomi said it will continue to fulfill all contractual obligations to its installed base of networking customers, systems and channel partners.

"Our content networking business has been highly dependent on the telecommunications and service provider markets," said David Peterschmidt, president and chief executive of Inktomi. "Severe economic conditions in the last year, coupled with the lack of demand from enterprises and the continued challenging environment going forward, resulted in our decision to reduce our networking operations and direct Inktomi at the established Web and enterprise search markets."

The company revealed Wednesday that it narrowly missed analysts' expectations for its third quarter. Wall Street was expecting a net loss of 7 cents per share, but Inktomi reported a net loss of 9 cents per share, about $13.4 million. The company noted it will take a one-time charge in the fourth quarter of about $30 million related to changes in its content networking group.

Inktomi also appointed Randy Gottfried as its new CFO, effective immediately. Gottfried will assume the responsibilities of Jerry Kennelly, who plans to leave the company in September. Gottfried, who has been serving as the company's finance vice president and corporate controller, worked closely with Kennelly on Inktomi's finance and business planning.

In related news, Inktomi Wednesday signed a definitive agreement to acquire San Mateo, Calif.-based Quiver in a $12 million combined cash and stock transaction. Inktomi hopes to use Quiver's portfolio of categorization and taxonomy software to strenthen its enterprise information retrieval solutions.

"Our enterprise search customers have been actively pursuing solutions for organizing information, and seeking direction from Inktomi in selecting the leading categorization products that meet their business requirements," Peterschmidt said. "The combined solutions from Quiver and Inktomi will provide the strongest suite of information retrieval solutiosn available."

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