January 1, 1998

Exabyte says 150 to lose jobs as company refocuses products

Computer data storage company Exabyte Corp. announced fourth-quarter losses and a plan to close or sell its Eagle division.

About 150 layoffs are expected in the first quarter of 1998 as a result of the losses. The Eagle division was concentrated on personal computers. Instead, Exabyte will focus its resources on application server products, which include its original 8 millimeter drive and the DLT automated data storage library.

Boulder-based Exabyte reported 1,500 employees and revenues of $363 million for 1996. The company’s stock price was below book value at year end, with the company’s board of directors authorizing company directors to buy back up to one million shares.

Leopard Communications, a rapidly growing Boulder-based advertising and marketing communications firm, has plans to move from its downtown location to Gunbarrel.

The move to an existing Gunbarrel office building is expected in March. Three new people recently were hired, and more growth may be on the drawing board in the new year, according to a company spokesperson. IBM, a major client of Leopard, recently announced an expanded new contract with the company. Leopard currently employs about 55 people.

Decision-ism Inc. recently received an additional $6 million to market and sell its new software product Aclue Decision Supportware.

The Boulder company develops and markets software that gathers data from operational systems, source applications and other business areas, then processes the information to help support decision-making by business professionals. Aclue Decision Supportware is the company’s flagship product. It’s installed in places such as AirTouch International, U S West, and Duke Communications International.

The company employs about 32 in its Boulder office. Although it is privately held, institutional investors supported the latest round of financing, including Hill Carman Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Trinity Ventures Ltd., Norwest Venture Capital, Charles River Ventures and Sevin Rosen Funds.

Casino company Black Hawk Gaming and Development Company Inc. moved recently to an office in Golden as preparation for opening the Lodge Casino in Black Hawk.

The Golden site is also more convenient than Boulder, since its closer to Black Hawk and to slot-machine distributor office and warehouse areas. The company currently owns the Gilpin Hotel Casino. The publicly traded company reported revenues of $1.26 million for 1996 and assets of $24.5 million.

Rockwell Semiconductor Systems has moved its design center into larger facilities.

The move to 5555 Central Ave. in East Boulder helps Rockwell expand design and development operations for its network access business during 1998. The company designs and markets integrated circuits for high-speed networking between computers. It is focusing on new technology that can use network devices to process voice and video input as well.

“Rockwell has made a significant investment in its Boulder operations,´ said Raouf Halim, vice president and general manager for Rockwell’s Network Access Division. “The larger facility supports Rockwell’s plans to nearly double the scope of our design operations during 1998, while also adding key resources for other network access product lines.”

Rockwell currently employs 32 people. It plans to steadily add staff during 1998, including systems design engineers, IC design engineers and real-time software engineers.

Rockwell’s world headquarters is in Costa Mesa, Calif. Fiscal 1997 sales were approximately $8 billion. The company employs about 45,000.

Diagnostic test maker BioStar Inc. agreed to a reverse merger with Denver-based biotechnology firm Cortech Inc., a move that allows it to become public without going through an initial public offering.

Shareholders would give up BioStar shares in exchange for shares of new Cortech stock — essentially giving them a 60 percent stake in the publicly-traded company. In return, BioStar would become public and also gets an estimated $16.1 million in operating cash from Cortech.

The merger also has BioStar considering moving out of Boulder to base its operations in Cortech’s leased space near the intersection of the Boulder Turnpike and Interstate 25. Other options for expansion include constructing a new building, or adding space at its current 36,000-square-foot location in Gunbarrel.

BioStar expects $15 million in revenue in 1997. It has 175 employees, 90 of them in Boulder. The deal is expected to close this spring.

A Boulder product design firm that does industrial design, graphic design and engineering has hired two new workers and has plans to add more in the new year.

The 19-year-old Volan Design mostly commonly works on high- tech and medical products, said Co-Owner Greg Volan. It is expanding its 16-employee staff in the next year to do more engineering. Employees currently do quite a bit of computer-aided design work on the product engineering side and marketing communication work on the graphic design side.

Companies like Storage Technology, Sun Microsystems, SAP America, Valleylab Inc. Integral Peripherals and Hewlett-Packard are clients. Volan declined to disclose revenues at the privately held company.

A nationwide survey shows companies are paying more to keep accounting and finance employees, according to Accountemps, a temporary staffing service.

Of the companies surveyed, 32 percent said they have increased pay for current employees. Another 23 percent of chief financial officers said they were offering higher starting salaries. Companies also said they had increased advertising and recruiting efforts and increased the use of temporary workers.

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm. The firm conducted its research on a random sample of companies with more than 20 employees.

Computer storage manufacturer Breece Hill Technologies recently received its third patent in less than a year for automated tape library technology.

Area companies like Exabyte Corp. and Storage Technology Corp. also compete in the automated tape library industry. Breece Hill’s latest patent was for a drive load plate technology that allows fast and simple installation and replacement of drives in its Q Series of libraries. It previously received a patent for a bar code reader technology it says is the industry’s only laser-based, non-contact scanner.

The Boulder company employs about 100 people and reported 1996 revenues of more than $25 million.

Computer data storage company Exabyte Corp. announced fourth-quarter losses and a plan to close or sell its Eagle division.

About 150 layoffs are expected in the first quarter of 1998 as a result of the losses. The Eagle division was concentrated on personal computers. Instead, Exabyte will focus its resources on application server products, which include its original 8 millimeter drive and the DLT automated data storage library.

Boulder-based Exabyte reported 1,500 employees and revenues of $363 million for 1996. The company’s stock price was below book value…

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