Kymata CEO to Step Down

Brendan Hyland is going: Did he jump, or was he pushed?

January 12, 2001

2 Min Read
Kymata CEO to Step Down

News that Brendan Hyland is stepping down from his position as CEO of Kymata Ltd., a Scottish startup developing integrated optical components, is due to cross the wires in the next few days.

In the short term, Mike Hickey, Kymata’s existing COO, will fill Hyland's shoes, while the board hunts for a new chief executive.

Hyland's departure caps the replacement of most of Kymata's original management team. "We're reshaping the company and getting it ready for volume production," says a spokesperson for 3i Group PLC, one of the VCs backing Kymata. Another investor is Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Kymata’s founder and CTO, Richard Laming, is staying on, but new people have been recruited for all of the other senior management positions in the company in the past nine months.

"Hyland was very involved in recruiting a strong senior management team," says VP of global sales and marketing, David Plekenpol, one of the executives that Hyland recruited (see Lucent VP to Join Kymata). Acting CEO Hickey is another recent recruit (see Former Motorola Exec Joins Kymata). CFO Gerry McAloon, who was hired in August 2000, completes the new top-level lineup.

All in all, something smells slightly of day-old haggis. It's often the case that the CEO who sees the startup through its early days is not the right person to take the company through an IPO. But the founder CEO usually stays on board to lend a hand. Hyland, however, is walking out the door, leaving everything behind except his shares.

Plekenpol won't comment on Hyland's reasons for leaving, but rumor has it that he was under pressure from the board to leave. Though Hyland has been very busy, (see Kymata Goes West, Marconi Opts for Kymata Components, Kymata Buys MEMS Maker, Kymata Snares Another $67M, and IBM Moves Into Integrated Optics), Kymata is still said to be pretty short on revenues.

"Kymata's raised a significant amount of cash, but it has a huge burn rate," says one industry source who wished to remain anonymous. "What it really needs now is a focus on revenues."

Hyland was not available to comment. "He's not gagged," says Plekenpol. "But we have to wait until the agreement between him and the company is sorted out." In the meantime, we'll have to read between the lines.-- Pauline Rigby, senior editor, Light Reading"

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