Responding to an economic downturn that has hit the technology sector hard
across the board, privately held nCUBE confirmed Thursday that recent belt -tightening measures will result in layoffs impacting less than 50, or about 17
percent, of its full-time work force of 280.
Those cuts will affect both its video-on-demand and digital advertising -insertion divisions, a company official said. nCUBE declined to reveal how
employees on each side will be let go because their duties typically crossed
into both areas. nCUBE has offices in Foster City, Calif.; the Denver area; Beaverton, Ore.; and a few sales hubs overseas.
Oracle Corp. chairman Larry Ellison is the majority owner of nCUBE. Oracle also
holds a separate stake in the closely held company.
'We, like any company, are going to be prudent and we're going to adjust
appropriately for the economic times,' nCUBE president Michael Pohl said. He
added that the company's cost-cutting moves won't 'gore' nCUBE's business so
deeply that it won't be prepared to react quickly when network-service-operator
spending levels improve.
'Granted, the traditional VOD business is not what we thought it would be
earlier this year, so we will adjust appropriately for that,' Pohl said. Despite
criticism that VOD is deployments are moving along slower than expected, nCUBE
'has a robust business' in that area, he said.
To that point, nCUBE said it generated $17.4 million in residential VOD
revenue for 2000. The company's latest VOD deal came from Kingston
Communications plc, a U.K.-based service provider that plans to roll out the service
via asynchronous digital subscriber lines.
In addition to a confirmed trial in Los Angeles with Time Warner Cable, nCUBE
also has residential VOD deployment agreements with Seren Innovations Inc., Verizon
Communications, Bertelsmann AG, British Telecommunications plc, Deutsche Telekom AG, media[netCom] AG,
Ono, Telewest Communications plc and Enron Corp. About 75 percent of the
company's installed video servers reside outside of United States