Fran Rooney, the embattled chief executive of struggling Internet security company Baltimore Technologies has quit his post less than a week after issuing another profits warning and announcing swingeing job cuts.
Paul Sanders, Baltimore's chief financial officer, is to act as interim CEO while the company searches for a replacement.
Rooney has been under intense pressure from City investors after presiding over a series of profits warnings and communications mishaps. With its share price collapsing, the company has been forced to undergo a dramatic restructuring of its global operations in a bid to preserve its dwindling cash pile. At £21 million, Baltimore's second quarter spending levels took another hefty chunk from its cash reserves, which currently stand at £54 million.
Analysts had questioned whether Rooney, who led Baltimore from 1996 when the company had just six employees, had the right skills to steer the company through its current difficulties.
Baltimore, which was valued at about £7 billion at the height of the dotcom boom in March 2000, is now trading at just over £0.20 per share, valuing the company at between £100 - £110 million. At these prices, it could be considered an attractive takeover target for some of the bigger players in the technology industry, including IBM, Microsoft and RSA Security.