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i2 board member resigns

Romesh Wadhwani steps down, saying he wants to pursue other interests. Analysts say they were not surprised at the departure.

Troubled business software maker i2 Technologies said on Tuesday that Romesh Wadhwani has resigned from its board of directors to pursue other interests.

Wadhwani joined i2 in 2000 through the company's acquisition of business software maker Aspect Development, where he was founder and chief executive. He became a member of the board at that time and also served as vice chairman of the company until June 30, overseeing operations and product development. But i2 representatives said Wadhwani had not been actively involved in the management of the company for about a year.

Wadhwani's departure leaves i2 with five board members. A company representative said i2 has no plans to replace him.

"Romesh is an enterprise solutions visionary who spearheaded the growth of Aspect and helped in the merger of our two companies. We value his contributions to i2 and wish him well in his future endeavors," i2 Chief Executive Sanjiv Sidhu said in a statement.

Wadhwani's departure came as no surprise to analysts, who noted Wadhwani had clashed with i2 management about the direction of the Aspect Development unit.

With i2 stock closing at 51 cents a share Tuesday, the departure of Wadhwani is the least of i2's worries, analysts said.

"The issue for these guys is to right-size their business model, rationalize their products and redefine for the marketplace what their future looks like," said Peter Coleman, a securities analyst at Deutsche Bank. "The big question everyone has is, 'What will this company look like?'"

i2 Technologies was once a high-flyer of the business applications market with a share price of more than $100 in 2000. The Dallas-based company makes software designed to help manufacturers forecast demand for their products and plan production accordingly.

Over the past year, the company has struggled with a steep decline in sales, as overall business demand for software and computing equipment slumped. i2 has cut staff in several rounds of layoffs and management changes. Wadhwani's exit marks the further loss of talent at i2, analysts said.

"It's certainly a loss given the caliber of person he is," Coleman said.