Sybiz fizzes with massive cuts

If there's a record for the shortest stint as managing director of a software company then Tony Lorge, formerly of Sybiz, has to be a contender. His departure last week became the forerunner to massive cuts made yesterday to the middle-tier accounting software developer as the industry squeeze continues.

Sybiz retrenched between 20 and 30 staff, or nearly 40 per cent, of its Australian workforce mainly from its Adelaide head office, in a bid to reduce operating costs.

Sevva Nelson, national sales director, who is currently managing the company, said there were "several factors" in the decision to cut so many staff. She said current economic conditions coupled with the company's decision to reduce its support infrastructure were the main drivers for the retrenchments. As a result, the channel will handle much of Sybiz's support.

"If things were rosy we wouldn't be making cuts," a candid Nelson told ARN. "But we've got a very good structure in place now and some of the factors [in the decision] are quite positive."

While Nelson claimed the restructuring was a local decision, the axe fell from Sybiz's South African parent company, Softline. Softline acquired Australian-developed Sybiz in 1998.

Meanwhile, Sydney-based Lorge parted ways with Sybiz for "family reasons" after he and the company could not resolve relocation issues surrounding his move to Sybiz's Adelaide head office, according to Sybiz. Having taken over the reigns on October 1, Lorge called it quits after just over a month in the role.

"The fact that Tony moved on is a sad thing for us because he did some smart things," said Nelson. "It had nothing to with [yesterday's] cuts."