Thursday, March 29, 2012

Godengo acquires Texterity; joint company will create a unified platform; The Globe and Mail reports another round of layoffs are occurring at BlackBerry maker RIM

Berkeley, Calif. based Godengo today announced that it had acquired Texterity, the Massachusetts based maker of replica editions. In the announcement, the combined company promises to create a unified platform to serve magazine publishers.

“Godengo and Texterity have complementary expertise, specializations, and cultures, and together we’ll offer a level of functionality and flexibility to clients that is well beyond anything currently in the marketplace,” said Peter Stilson, Godengo’s President and CEO, and the CEO of the newly combined company.

“The publishing industry has been looking for a true partner that can meet the full scope of needs in cross-platform digital and mobile integration, and now it has one,” Stilson said.
CIO, a Texterity iPad app

The current president of Texterity, Carl Scholz, will become the President of the combined company, which will be rebranded in the future.

Godengo's main product has been Revista, an online publishing and advertising solution designed for magazine publishers. Texterity is known for its digital flipbooks, and for the universal apps that are replica editions, which appear under the Texterity name in the App Store, rather than that of the publisher.

These replica editions have proved very popular with publishers, though readers have not given the apps very favorable reviews inside the App Store. All of the Texterity app reside outside of Apple's Newsstand.

The Canadian daily The Globe and Mail is reporting this afternoon that the new CEO of Research In Motion is moving some of the company's management out.

“Lots of high level people within RIM were let go today,” The Globe and Mail quoted on anonymous source. “Quite a few. Big shake up.”

The paper speculates that the move has been made ahead of the company reporting its year-end results, which many expect to be less than stellar. Often these kinds of moves are made as sort of the answer to an anticipated question from analysts.

The Globe and Mail's Iain Marlow stated that the sales and marketing department, which has already suffered layoffs was again targeted in the latest round. Nothing builds sales like reducing sales and marketing, right? I know quite a number of B2B publishing executives who seem to hold the same view – and are achieving the same results, I might add.

Update: the earnings call is giving us more details of what is going on at RIM: co-CEO Jim Balsillie is stepping down from the company’s board and two executives – Software CTO David Yach and Jim Rowan, COO, Global Operations – are out, as well, according to sources listening in this afternoon.

Watching RIM disintegrate is not a pretty sight. Sometimes one wonders why some tech writers appear to be so happy when they see a company fall apart. But despite the fact that BlackBerry shipments decreased 21 percent in the latest quarter, and that profits fell 19 percent, the company could still report a positive number concerning earnings per share – something even some high flying companies can not report. Forget what I said, the company reported a net loss for the quarter. That certainly makes the situation look more dire.