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VeriFone to undergo reorganization

The e-commerce pioneer is entering a restructuring that will divide its hardware and software efforts and see the departure of its No. 2 executive.

    VeriFone, an e-commerce pioneer owned by Hewlett-Packard, said today that it will enter into a reorganization that will divide the company's hardware and software activities and see the departure of its No. 2 executive.

    Under the restructuring, senior vice president Lloyd Mahaffey, who has spearheaded VeriFone's smart card efforts, will leave the company within the next couple of months, VeriFone representative Meta Mehling said, adding that he was doing so "for personal reasons." Mahaffey, a former Apple Computer executive, could not be reached for comment.

    The reorganization comes amid a number of personnel changes among VeriFone executives during recent months. In April, the company said that Robin Abrams, formerly head of sales and marketing for VeriFone's Americas group, would take over as president and chief executive. She is replacing Hatim Tyabji, who announced in March that he would retire at the end of the year. In January, Richard Belluzzo, HP's general manager of computer products, who oversaw the acquisition of VeriFone, left to become CEO at Silicon Graphics.

    VeriFone said the reorganization was a routine matter.

    "We've noticed that the business models for software and hardware products are completely different," said Mehling, who added that the company was instituting the changes "in order to focus better on the market and better provide customer needs."

    Hardware giant HP announced its intention to acquire VeriFone in April of 1997. The move was completed in June in a stock-for-stock deal valued at $1.29 billion. Last year, HP generated $9.7 billion in revenues. VeriFone reported revenues of $425.5 million in 1996, the last year the company made its earnings public.