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Executive bails on Borland

Struggling Borland International loses its chief financial officer, the second high-level executive departure in two months.

Struggling Borland International has lost its chief financial officer, the second high-level executive departure in two months.

CFO David Mullin plans to resign effective mid-September to join another company, but he won't say which one. Borland says it is seeking a replacement for Mullin, who had joined the company in November 1995 from Conner Peripherals, where he had worked five years in various finance positions, as well as for former CEO Gary Wetsel.

Jean Orr, senior analyst at stock brokerage A.G. Edwards, speculated that Mullin's departure might indicate that Borland thinks it has cut costs enough and now wants to focus on increasing revenue. Mullin, she added, had come to Borland to work with Wetsel, and like Wetsel, was identified as a cost cutter.

Wetsel resigned July 2 shortly after Borland told Wall Street analysts to expect significant losses at the company. On July 24, Borland reported $34.5 million in revenues for the quarter ending June 30, compared to $53.8 million for the comparable quarter a year earlier.

The net loss was $14.1 million, or 45 cents a share. Eliminating a favorable settlement with the Internal Revenue Service, Borland would have lost $17 million or 54 cents a share, compared to a $2.8 million profit (10 cents a share) for the same quarter last year.

Borland, which makes software development tools, blamed poor U.S. sales for the decline in revenue. Sales of its Delphi development tool have been hurt by stiff competition from Microsoft, which offered an price break to developers who switched to Microsoft's Visual Basic.

In its bid to recover, Borland has focused on tools for the Internet and intranet, including its IntraBuilder and Latte products that use the Java programming language. IntraBuilder is intended to help software developers build database applications that run on Web servers, while Latte is a tool to create Java applets.

Both tools are due by year's end, later than anticipated.

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