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CyberNet: The Aftermath
David Martin is disappointed that Barton Watson killed himself, and he's not alone. Many other ex-CyberNet employees and executives had hoped to see their former CEO face the music in court. "We had planned to get together and have a reunion of sorts with a bunch of former employees," says Martin, who now works at Bayshore Technologies, a solution provider based in Tampa, Fla. "I was planning on flying up from Florida to see Watson get his day in court."
Instead of a courtroom, many former colleagues assembled at CyberNet's headquarters during the bankruptcy court auction, visiting their old offices and catching up. Indeed, there is a kind of brotherhood that has emerged from the tragedy and evils of the CyberNet Group. "All of these professionals that worked there over the span of a dozen years have stayed in touch and continued to network with each other," says John Westra, who recently launched a new consulting venture called Professional Business Team.
One of the few positives of CyberNet's sad story is that the corrupt solution provider actually hired talented, quality people, many of whom continue to work together today. Rob King, for example, was hired by SourcIT, another Grand Rapids-area solution provider, shortly after CyberNet collapsed, joining several ex-CyberNet workers and friends like Paul Curtis.
In fact, many of the ex-employees that VARBusiness spoke with have moved forward from the nightmare environment Watson created and either joined other tech firms or started their own businesses, like Westra. Sean McTaggart, who started his own solution provider, Triline Solutions, sometimes does business with his friends at SourcIT. "One thing Barton did well was find good people," McTaggart says. "And that's the sad thing. All of the salespeople and engineers were good people."