He has been replaced on an interim basis by C. Nicholas Keating, Jr., who has been a Net.com director since 2001.
A spokesman for the vendor said there was no further comment at this stage, and 54-year-old Whyte was unavailable for comment this morning (as he was asleep in California). It is thought he doesn't have another industry position lined up.
Whyte's resignation comes less than a week after the company reported a drop in revenues and a net loss in its first fiscal quarter (see Net.com Reports Q1 Results). That news sent the firm's share price down by more than 13 percent last Thursday to $4.78. The stock stood at $4.57 at the close of trading yesterday (Tuesday July 19), just 12 cents off its 12-month low.
That fall in revenues followed a change in product strategy at Net.com, with a focus more on next-generation systems for enterprise and government users (see Net.com: Back to the Enterprise).
Whyte joined Net.com as president and CEO in June 1999 and propelled the company towards the broadband aggregation and service creation sector, though sales of the company's Scream B-RAS (broadband remote aggregation server) technology never quite matched its technical potential (see Net.com Turns Up Scream).
Previously he had restructured and doubled sales at remote access equipment firm Advanced Computer Communications (ACC), which was acquired by Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY) in September 1998 for $285 million.
Prior to ACC, the outspoken Brit was general manager of access products at Newbridge Networks, and before that worked for a variety of vendors, including Ericsson, Mitel Networks Corp., and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE).
Whyte, equally as handy with a golf club or a pool cue, also worked at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), and has become one of the most vocal critics of the carrier's current next-generation network plans (see BT's 21CN Meets Its Skeptics).
And it's Whyte's willingness to speak up and speak out that is his trademark. A classic recent example came at Light Reading's Telecom Investment conference in New York last December, when a panel of industry executives was asked how carriers could make money from VOIP. Panelists suggested that operators could charge for specific services, such as allowing your phone calls to follow you wherever you go.
Whyte had a different take: "I'd pay them not to find me -- that's how they'll make money."
For other Whyte gems, check out these previous stories:
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading