Fast Facts Section B: January 8, 2001
No Playing Around
EToys is pulling the plug on its European operations as part of a strategy to stay in business. The online toyseller warned in December 2000 that sales had fallen short of expectations and that it would run out of money by the end of March. The companys British unit will cease operating on Jan. 19, and eToys Europe will be closed early in 2001, the company said in a statement.
Still Got Bite
The year-2000 bug got in a last bite as the clock turned over to the year 2001. Operators at Norways State Railway reported that they couldnt get 16 new airport express trains in Oslo or 13 high-speed long-distance trains to start up on the morning of Dec. 31, 2000. Computers on the train wouldnt recognize the date. The problem was solved by resetting the trains computers to Dec. 1, 2000.
Executives at security systems vendor Network Associates took the heat for the companys failure to meet fourth-quarter targets. The company expects to lose about $130 million in its fourth quarter. Chief Executive Bill Larson will be replaced. Also heading for the streets: President Peter Watkins and Chief Financial Officer Prabhat Goyal.
New Year, New Name
Andersen Consulting celebrated the New Year with a new name. The $10 billion consulting firm will now operate under the handle Accenture and is set to launch an advertising campaign to raise awareness. "Accenture is all about exceeding expectations as we provide market-ready solutions that will take companies to a successful future," Chief Executive Joe Forehand said in announcing the change.
Priceline.com founder Jay Walker has decided to step down from the name-your-own-price Web sites board of directors, saying he needed to focus his attention on his intellectual property firm, Walker Digital. At this stage, it seems theres not much Walker could do to save Priceline, which has seen its shares fall from the $100 range to slightly more than $1.
Internet portal software developer Viador became the latest business-to-business company to announce layoffs, saying it will have to let 36 percent of its work force go to stem losses. Mountain View, Calif.-based Viador will be left with 155 employees. The company says its fourth-quarter sales will come in below expectations, in the $5 million range, due to delayed purchases by companies and government agencies.