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Evoke Restructures; Sells Webcasting Business to Digital Island

Evoke (www.evoke.com) announced that it was restructuring; to focus more on webconferencing and collaboration. It is selling its webcasting business to Digital Island, for an undisclosed amount. This restructuring is meant to reduce operating expenses, saving about $25 million over the next 12 months.

By focusing our efforts on these core competencies," said Paul Berberian, president and chief executive officer, "we can most efficiently and effectively grow our business.'' Evoke says it will meet fourth quarter estimates.

Evoke is discontinuing its Web Talk, a voice chat service, and Talking Email, a voice-to-e-mail messaging service, as stand-alone services or through its partnerships.

Evoke is transferring webcasting operations to Digital Island (www.digitalisland.com). Both companies have signed joint reseller agreements; Evoke will resell Digital Island's Footprint delivery service.

"Evoke Communications is clearly the leader in virtual meeting services and we expect them to continue to strengthen that position," said Ruann Ernst, chairman and CEO of Digital Island. "As reseller partners, our offerings complement one another perfectly."

Another part of the cost cuts includes a reduction of employees; 112 were laid off, bringing the total number of employees to approximately 208. The company would also close some offices and terminate deals with Excite@Home and Lycos.

"Our mission of becoming a strong, operationally excellent organization with a superior service offering and exceptional customer support was the driving force behind the restructuring," said Berberian. "Although we've had to make some difficult decisions, we believe the company will be better positioned to sustain simple, reliable services for our customers and partners."

Evoke also said that its chief financial officer, Terry Kawaja, resigned, but will remain with the company through a transition period. Kawaja was brought on to help with merger and acquisitions, but has decided to leave since the company isn't in the market anymore. Ken Mesikapp, vice president of finance, was named acting CFO.

Last November, Evoke's co-founder and COO, Jim LeJeal, said he was resigning as of the beginning of 2001. Additionally, Evoke cut 91 employees, mostly in sales, in late October.

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