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Quote.com pares down, CEO out

The president and chief executive of Quote.com abruptly resigns, while 10 percent of the company's workforce is laid off as it looks to cut costs.

Marking another management shakeup at an online financial services provider, the president and chief executive of Quote.com has abruptly resigned, and 10 percent of the company's workforce has been laid off as it looks to cut costs.

Tom Henry, who served as Quote.com's president and CEO for nine months, resigned Friday and was replaced by company founder Chris Cooper.

"We decided we didn't need to have two leaders," Cooper said. "It's difficult to understand who runs things and who has the right vision?. Tom came from a background with a news focus, and mine was more market focus."

Meanwhile, the company cut eight people from its workforce, many of whom were engineers, Cooper said.

Despite the growth of the online trading industry, several online financial sites have had to tighten their belts of late.

PC Quote (PQT) last July announced that its president and chief operating officer had resigned and that the company was seeking ways to "substantially" cut its costs.

Like Quote.com, PC Quote offers delayed and real-time stock quotes, as well as market news and research. Those services are then used by subscribers. Additionally, portions of the service are sold to other businesses for internal use or for use on their Web sites.

While PC Quote was hurt by the loss of two key accounts as it changed its product mix and eliminated its resource hogging non-Internet based quote service, Quote.com faced a case of spending more than its revenues would cover.

"Over the last year, our revenues have tripled, but our staff and expenses have quadrupled," Cooper said. "This put us in a situation where we were burning more cash than we were raising in revenues."

Cooper noted that the company did not want to approach its investors for another round of financing, and instead opted to cut costs. Cooper predicted that the privately held company will be profitable in the first half of next year.

Quote.com's subscriptions account for 20 percent of revenues, while advertising revenues comprise 30 percent. Sales of its service to other businesses, or third-party work, represents 50 percent of overall revenues.