Briefs: February 21, 2005


The distributor said last week that Guy Abramo, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, left the company for personal reasons, and Sally Stanton, vice president of category management, was let go following a reorganization of the company's marketing and vendor management teams.

Abramo joined Ingram Micro in 1998 and was responsible for setting the distributor's business direction, including the identification of growth opportunities and global marketing initiatives.

Stanton also joined the company in 1998. She was let go after Ingram Micro reorganized its marketing and vendor management teams and consolidated its manufacturer-facing operations.

"Unfortunately with these changes, an opportunity for a meaningful role at Ingram Micro that suits my capabilities no longer exists," Stanton wrote in an e-mail.

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She led development of Ingram Micro's offerings in convergence, wireless, networking and the digital home. Stanton intends to pursue an executive position with another technology company, she wrote.

In other personnel moves, Karen Salem was named senior vice president and CIO. Salem was most recently senior vice president and CIO at Winn-Dixie Stores in Jacksonville, Fla.

Netgear increased sales 21 percent in the fourth quarter over the prior-year period, but missed analysts' revenue expectations by $3 million.

Revenue from Netgear's wireless and broadband products in the fourth quarter was driven by seasonal holiday consumer demand in the United States and Europe, increased sales of new products and further channel penetration, said Patrick Lo, chairman and CEO of Netgear, during a conference call.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Netgear reported earnings of $8.6 million, or 26 cents per share, up from $3.9 million, or 12 cents per share, the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter climbed to $105.1 million, up 21 percent from $86.8 million for the same period the previous year.

Financial analysts expected the company to report earnings of 21 cents per share on revenue of $108 million, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

IBM enhanced its information life-cycle management offerings with new hardware and software aimed at better managing information from the time it is created to when it is disposed.

The vendor enhanced its tape and disk offerings and software, not as point solutions but to enhance its total ILM solution, said Charlie Andrews, director of IBM TotalStorage.

For archiving purposes, IBM plans to add WORM (write once, read many) capability to its LTO-3 drives next quarter, Andrews said.

IBM also doubled the tape-mounting performance of its enterprise-class TotalStorage 3584 tape library by introducing a dual accesser, which is the robotic arm that pulls tape cartridges from a slot and inserts them into a drive and vice versa. The dual accesser should decrease the chance of a tape library failure, he said. Tape drives, libraries and autoloaders with LTO-3 are expected to be available March 4, with list price for the drives starting at $5,999.

Bell Microproducts beat Wall Street estimates by a penny after the company's earnings doubled in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period last year.

The distributor earned $5.8 million, or 20 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004, compared with net income of $2.4 million, or 9 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Bell Microproducts' revenue increased 26 percent to $808 million, compared with $640 million in the fourth quarter last year.

For the 2004 fiscal year, Bell Microproducts earned $11.3 million, or 40 cents per share, on $2.83 billion in sales. The results compare with a $4.5 million loss, or 20 cents per share, on $2.23 billion in revenue for 2003.

"We generated revenue improvement in all geographies and all major product categories during the quarter and the year. Our gross profit margins increased to 8 percent in the fourth quarter from 7.5 percent in the prior year's fourth quarter," said Don Bell, president and CEO of Bell Microproducts, in a statement.

MySQL is on track to deliver version 5 of its database in the second quarter, according to CEO Marten Mickos.

The MySQL database, in alpha test for a year, promises support for stored procedures, triggers and viewsall features on the wish list of larger companies. MySQL co-founders David Axmark and Michael Widenius touted the new release and its potential at the company's user conference last year, and will likely reprise that at this year's meeting in April.

MySQL, along with PostgreSQL, is a favorite among the open-source database crowd, who say those offerings could encroach on database standbys such as Oracle and IBM DB2.

In an interview at LinuxWorld in Boston, Mickos acknowledged some MySQL-to-PostgreSQL movement, but shrugged it off. "They [PostgreSQL] absolutely try to be an Oracle replacement. We do not. We're here for new markets," Mickos said.