Vitesse Makes a Mess

Chip maker reveals softer earnings and revenues, while some executives of note head for the door

October 4, 2004

2 Min Read
Vitesse Makes a Mess

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) is shaking things up this week, as the company is seeing turnover in its executive ranks and a shortfall in revenues and earnings (see Vitesse Lowers Q4 Guidance).

The chip maker announced today that its fourth-quarter revenues will likely be $52 million, compared to the range of $54 million to $57 million that the company predicted in July.

It now expects to lose 2 cents per share during the fourth quarter. Previously, it had expected to either break even or turn a profit of 1 cent per share.

Vitesse shares were down slightly on the news, falling $0.04 (1.39%) to $2.83 in midday trading on Monday.

Investors might be getting jaded by the spate of financial shortfalls in the chip sector (see AMCC Expects Revenue Decline, Broadcom Lowers Q3 Guidance, and Intel Cuts Q3 Outlook), but Vitesse is now delivering a second dose of bad news, having already noted that its storage business would disappoint in the September quarter (see Storage Sinks Vitesse).

"While we were aware of weakness in the storage market earlier in the quarter, and accordingly had lowered our revenue expectations, we were surprised by additional customer push-outs that occurred in the last week of September," said Lou Tomasetta, Vitesse's president and CEO, in a statement released Monday.

The company also acknowledged some turnover in its executive ranks this morning as it appointed Michael Rodensky as VP of sales and marketing. Rodensky replaces Richard Riker, who sources close to the company say was fired last month.

Also leaving Vitesse's executive ranks is Ole Christian Andersen, the Denmark-based VP and general manager for the company's Ethernet division. Andersen was the former CEO of Exbit Technology A/S, the company he founded in 1999. Vitesse acquired Exbit in June 2001.

Exbit was Vitesse's answer to Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) in the market for high-end Ethernet switch chips (see Vitesse Courts GigE Market). Now the figurehead for that deal is off and running.

Andersen's exit follows the summertime departure of Andrew Rava, who was VP of Ethernet Sales at Vitesse. Rava is now VP of sales at Cavium Networks Inc.

Vitesse didn't immediately return calls seeking comment. The company will report its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2004 year-end results later this month (no specific date was given).

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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