Layoffs Coming to Liberate


Liberate Technologies will show 30 percent of its work force the door Friday,
followed by another 10 percent employee reduction instituted before April 7.

The layoff actions will take place as the set-top converter-software provider
continues to deal with internal accounting irregularities.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission Form 8-K filed late Tuesday, San
Carlos, Calif.-based Liberate disclosed its intent to discharge 180 of its 600
employees Jan. 10, then bid 60 more employees farewell over the next three

Along with the staff cuts, Liberate would take an earnings cut --
approximately $6 million through a one-time restructuring expense.

"The reduction in force affects all business units and all office locations,"
the company noted in its SEC filing.

Liberate launched an internal investigation of its accounting practices last
month, while taking back guidance on upcoming earning results and calling into
question earnings reported over the last year.

Company officials announced at the time that public statements on financial
and operational performance would be suspended until the investigation was

Also, chief operating officer Donald Fitzpatrick was relieved of his duties,
and plans for CEO Mitchell Kertzman to be succeeded by Coleman Sisson (with
Kertzman staying on in another senior capacity) were tabled.