Audible, a Wayne, N.J.-based company that specializes in spoken-word audio, says it has laid off 40 percent of its work force and its chief executive officer has resigned. Audible said 35 positions out of 85 have been eliminated as part of an effort to achieve positive cash flow. Thomas Baxter will resign from his position as CEO but will remain on the board of directors and will serve as a senior adviser to Audible's management team. Founder and chairman Donald Katz will resume the CEO title, which he held from the company's inception in 1995 until late 1998, and again from late 1999 to February 2000. Robert Kramer, who is currently serving as chief technology officer, will become Audible's president.
Audible, which has investments from Microsoft, recently unveiled an add-on module for listening to books and other media. Audible offers audio book titles for download, covering nonfiction, education, comedy, language learning and audio editions of print newspapers and magazines.