Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Slimmer CText Sees Sales Jump

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Slimmer CText Sees Sales Jump

Article excerpt

Slimmer CText sees sales jump

The recession has cost jobs at yet another system vendor. According to product development vice president Eugene Kiel, recent layoffs reduced the work force at CText Inc. from about 112 to "close to" 100.

He also confirmed that, at about the same time, CText executive Darryl Tjaden had left the company.

Within weeks of trimming its workforce, however, CText had added to its handful of recent sales with another in the U.S. and several in two markets where the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based firm retains exclusive sales and marketing rights following its distribution and technology licensing agreement with Atex Inc.

Formerly chief executive officer at CText, Tjaden had been strategic technology director for the last 14 months, according to president Larry Moore. As recently as this spring, however, company correspondence listed Tjaden as CEO, a position Moore now fills. Tjaden's departure came eight years after he and Moore founded CText. They had earlier worked together at Hastech, said Moore.

Moore told E&P that Tjaden's departure was not a surprise move and had no connection to the layoffs. "They were different issues," he said.

"It was that time in the company's history for Darryl to go do something else," Moore continued, calling Tjaden "a very talented individual ... a genius ... a visionary."

CText is owned by its two founders, some local investors, and employee shareholders. Moore noted that Tjaden "still holds shares in CText, so he still has a vested interest in the company."

Neither the layoffs nor Tjaden's departure were connected in any way to CText's relationship with Atex, according to Kiel. In June the companies announced that Atex would make a financial infusion to CText and acquire rights to its products and code. CText would get greater visibility overseas and entree to larger newspapers, while Atex would develop a new front end through integration of CText products (E&P, June 15).

Kiel said that, in addition to the loss of two administrative positions, cuts were made in system integration and configuration, training, and shipping and receiving. "We made no cutbacks in engineering or product development," he said, adding that the areas remain "an important part of our strategy."

As elsewhere, CText's layoffs were part of an effort to reduce expenses, and while, as Kiel put it in late October, "orders are not coming in left and right," he maintained that the company continues to pursue product goals.

"Things are going very well ... from a product-delivery perspective," he said, adding later that "CText development is at an all-time high as far as staff. ..."

In the meantime, said Kiel, CText's Dateline project for the Chicago Tribune is progressing well.

"We're getting very close," he said. More news is expected on that OS/2-based installation by early 1992 or possibly before the end of this year.

He said that while Dateline was not shown at last month's IFRA exposition in Amsterdam, Holland, Atex continues integration of OS/2 products with its own pagination solutions, and it will show Dateline products at ANPA/TEC 92. CText DOS products were shown and demonstrated in the Atex booth at IFRA because, said Kiel, Atex believes that they fill "a certain lower-end market niche."

"We had also recently sent some people on a world tour with Atex," he said, citing locales in Europe and Southeast Asia. …

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