Commander (ASX: CDR) has parted company with its group general manager of enterprise, Steve Evans, and could retrench up to one-third of its staff, an ARN source has claimed.
According to the source, who works closely with the integrator and asked not to be named, Evans was fired on December 28. He is now rumoured to be mounting a case against Commander to sue the company for entitlements. He had not responded to calls for comment at the time of press.
Newly appointed managing director and CEO, Amanda Lacaze, confirmed Evans had left Commander.
"Steve had a certain set of skills and they will not necessarily be the skills we require in the business going forward," she said. "I'm on day 19 of my role and am still assessing the key leaders [within the company] and getting clarity on our strategy, which includes looking at whether we have the right skills mix."
Commander's group general manager of SMB, Chris Jenney, was still on-board, Lacaze said. ARN understands he and company chair, Elizabeth Nosworthy, are the only members of the senior management team so far unaffected by the recent shake-up.
Meanwhile, the deadline for Commander to start paying back its bank covenants looms large. The integrator renegotiated its debts in the last financial year with the exception of a $20 million short-term working capital facility, which is to be paid in two installments in the financial year to June 30, 2008. The first payment is due on February 28.
The source claimed the integrator was struggling to find the $10 million to meet the February 28 deadline and could make up to one-third of its staff redundant in a last-minute bid to stay afloat.
Lacaze refused to comment on potential redundancies.
"In the first semester of managing a business, you have three leads to generate profit - revenue, the cost of goods and your overheads. We are reviewing the effectiveness of our business operations in each of these areas," she said. "I am incredibly energised in terms of the task going forward. The business is not travelling as it should - we accept and acknowledge that. When I looked at the business externally, I saw its underlying value is substantial...that value has not been unlocked effectively."
The source also claimed Commander's largest distributor, Ingram Micro, has put the company on credit hold. The local channel sales manager of a major vendor partner also expressed concerns about the integrator's future.