Another Borland executive jumps ship

The head of R&D at Borland is quitting the company hot on the heels of its chief executive and finance chief.

Borland has announced the resignation of Paul Gross, its senior vice-president of research and development, and the third high-ranking executive to leave the company since July. Gross will resign effective October 14 to take a similar position at an unnamed company, Borland officials say. His duties will be assumed by Jothy Rosenberg and Jeff Rudy, who are both vice-presidents of research and development, company spokesman Knox Richardson says.

One analyst says the company could weather the loss of Gross on the strength of its engineers and quality of its products. "They have a lot of brilliant engineers there. Gross was perhaps the best research visionary, but no one is irreplacable. I'd say he was a relatively important figure," says Evan Quinn, analyst at International Data.

Borland officials are playing down the loss, saying Gross was not currently involved in any particular development projects, but was concentrating on integrating technologies acquired from Borland's recent purchase of Open Environment. The tool developer posted a series of shakey quarterly results last year and has failed to rebound since. Some observers say the company has been unlucky not to have had more success with its Delphi tool, which has faced stiff competition from Microsoft's Visual Basic.

"Their products are really quality, but it's just been bad news after bad news after bad news," Quinn says. "It must wear you down after a while."

Borland CEO Gary Wetsel announced he would resign on July 2, when the company informed Wall Street it expected to suffer heavy quarterly losses. On July 24 the company posted a first-quarter loss of US$14.1 million, and soon after that CFO David Mullen announced he would leave the company.

Borland, based in Scotts Valley, California, can be contacted on the World Wide Web at http://www.borland.com.

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