In a bid to conserve cash, Audible Inc. is eliminating 35 jobs, approximately 40% of its total workforce. Among those leaving the company is Tom Baxter, Audible CEO since February 2000, although Baxter will remain on the company's board and continue as a senior adviser. Don Katz, Audible founder and chairman, will reassume the CEO title, and Rob Kramer, chief technology officer, has been named president.
Katz said the downsizing will "accelerate our drive to profitability." Audible lost $32.3 million in 2000 and earlier this year projected a loss of $31 million to $32 million for 2001, although it said it expected to break even by the second half of 2002. In February, the company received a $10-million cash infusion from Microsoft, making Microsoft the company's largest shareholder. Even with the additional investment, Katz said that, given the current condition of the capital markets, steps needed to be taken to reduce the company's cash needs.