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Mshow Regroups, Lays Off 24 percent of Workforce

Mshow.com (www.mshow.com) announced on Friday that it laid off about 24 percent of its workforce in all areas of the company. According to CEO and founder, Bob Ogdon, this puts Mshow on a clearer and shorter path to profitability.

Employees were let go in offices around the U.S. (Denver, Austin, TX.) and the U.K. (London). MShow now has about 173 employees.

Unlike other layoff stories, Ogdon insists that this isn't about a company in trouble -- he's just "being aggressive" about wanting to be profitable.

"The business models need to change, because things are changing around us," said Ogdon. With these staff reductions, he said that the company should be EBITDA positive in January 2002.

Ogdon said that Mshow was close to an IPO in spring 2000, but he didn't trust the market condition. As it turned out, he was right; soon afterwards, the IPO landscape changed significantly. Many companies had lackluster first trading days, while other companies cancelled their IPOs.

Despite the current climate in Wall Street, Ogdon is positive there'll be an IPO comeback around the second or third quarter. And with the corrections he's made, he thinks the company will be ready. "There's a better opportunity if you have a sure horizon to profitability," he said.

Ogdon is confident he's doing the right thing, no matter how hard it is. "The worst thing you can do is ignore reality," he said. He said the company is ready for whatever opportunities come up, be it an IPO, private placement, merger or acquisition.

Things seemed rosy for Mshow two weeks ago, when it announced an alliance with Akamai to use each other's conferencing services. Ogdon maintained that the B2B sector is still growing and that Mshow is reaping the rewards.

Still, he warns other companies not to be complacent. "Every single company needs to evaluate their model and make it as efficient as possible," he said. "There's more scrutiny [on revenues] than ever before."

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