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Moxi maker cuts staff by half, loses CEO

The DVR maker also makes some significant shifts in strategy, saying it will focus on fewer platforms.

Update 12:00 p.m. PST: This blog has been updated with more details, as well as comments from Mike Fidler and Greg Gudorf.

If you were eagerly anticipating Digeo's Moxi Multi-Room HD digital media recorder, don't hold your breath.

The Kirkland, Wash.-based company revealed significant changes Tuesday, including the cancellation of two previously announced product lines, the Multi-Room HD DMR and the Moxi Home Cinema Edition DMR. As a result of slashing those products from its lineup, nearly half of its staff will be laid off, and current Chief Executive Mike Fidler will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Greg Gudorf, the company said Tuesday.


In an interview with CNET, Fidler blamed the shift in strategy on the company's "inability to deliver some products on time" and "dynamics that occur in the marketplace."

The canceled products were in various stages of production, from pre-production to beta testing with customers, though none was produced in volume yet, said Gudorf.

"As we assessed our situation, it became clear that the best action for Digeo was to focus our work on the next-generation product for the retail market," Gudorf said in a statement. "Building the software and hardware for this category is a complex endeavor, with dynamic technical standards, regulatory issues, and content considerations. Previously, we were spreading our energies across too many platforms."

Digeo will focus on, and still plans to release, the Moxi HD DVR for Cable sometime later this year. Gudorf will take over as chief executive "very soon," according to Fidler, who will stay on as long as necessary to help with the transition. Fidler says he chose to step down on his own.

This is a big shift for Digeo, which acquired the Moxi brand when the two companies merged in 2002. Though the Paul Allen-backed company made a big splash with Moxi's vast feature set at the Consumer Electronics Show that same year, the Moxi DVR was never available to retail customers directly--a la TiVo--and instead was only available from a handful of cable companies. Digeo will still release future retail products, as well as continue its cable relationships, Gudorf said.