Kana CFO Abruptly Steps Down

CRM software developer Kana Inc.'s CFO Brett White has left the company less than a year after taking the position.

CRM software developer Kana Inc. announced on Thursday that its CFO, Brett White, has left the company, less than a year after taking the position.

White said in a statement that he was leaving to focus on "family and new endeavours," but the abrupt nature of his departure and the lack of any comment from Kana CEO Chuck Bay is stoking speculation on Wall Street that the companys financial picture may not be improving as much as its recent first quarter results would indicate.

Company officials refused further comment.

Kanas stock price fell nearly $2 in heavy trading on the news Thursday to close at $7.38. Joseph McCarthy, vice president of finance at Kana, will take over management of Kanas financial and accounting operations until a replacement for White is named.

White joined Broadbase Software Corp. late last June, just five days before the company completed its merger with Kana. He succeeded interim CFO Art Rodriguez, who had begun a cost-containment program at Kana that White continued.

White also oversaw a financial restructuring of the company begun under Rodriguez that saw Kana reduce its net loss to $6.8 million in the first quarter of this year from $752.9 million in the same period a year ago.

The company reported a modest pro-forma profit in the quarter, a goal it had set when White first joined the company from defunct professional services company MarchFirst Inc., where he had been vp of field finance and operations.

White previously was a vice president of finance at Oracle Corp.

Rodriguez had succeeded Brian Allen, who had also cited personal reasons for his resignation in January 2001. Kana cut 220 jobs a week after Rodriguez took over, part of approximately 650 job cuts at the company in the first four months of last year. Kana also terminated its Kana Online service under Rodriguez.