Watts (chipotle) wrote,

So Monday or Tuesday--I don't remember which--my boss said that he'd heard NetPoodles had definitely gotten $5M financing. The corporate web designer smiled and said, "You know, I haven't seen a press release." We still haven't. The scuttlebutt is that one or both the company's top execs (EVP and CEO are father and son respectively--yes, the father works for the son) have liquidated their assets so NetPoodles has the money to buy the network services division we're committed to purchase by the end of the month.

Also no news about the purchase our "major customer" was supposed to just be about to make. My suspicion's been that if NetPoodles survives and get the network services group but don't get the big theoretical product sale, we'll experience what Jean Louis-Gassée (Be's ex-CEO) whimsically called a "focus shift." We've already been lurching toward trying to be a service group--if we can buy our way into suddenly being a profitable one, what's the point of hanging onto the money pit of the hardware line?

Well. In past entries I've occasionally referred to the Crazy System Architect. CSA was good at spouting buzzwords but not too good at knowing what they meant, and he tended to out-and-out make them up. ("Authentification" became famous around the office for a while, as was his call to make code more "flamboyant"--as I asked another engineer, "does that mean we're supposed to put it in drag, or what?") But he did have talents. CSA was essentially responsible for over 100% turnover in NetPoodles' R&D group in 2000, and helping to drive out both the company's co-founder and a mildly legendary engineering VP that year--and a good CTO last year, after I'd joined in 2001. While he wasn't responsible for the stupid idea to be chasing after one client for two years, he's certainly contributed to the insane lack of design that's plagued the main product (if they'd been re-engineering it through 2000 instead of fighting office politics, it probably would have stopped sucking by 2001; the short-lived CTO helped stabilize it, but since she left it's been stagnant at best). He came out with grand promised plans and waited for other people to execute them, regardless of feasibility. He lied about his capabilities, sometimes ludicrously, and blamed others for his failures (transparently, except apparently to management). And, there's evidently some evidence--which management knew about--that he out-and-out stole from the company, and at the least abused corporate expense accounts.

On Monday, they let him go.

The sad thing is, it happened for more office politics, not because he wasn't capable of his job duties and that he was doing dramatic damage to the company through pettiness. While there are rumors that he did something sufficiently heinous to be the proverbial back-breaking straw, if they're true, they only mean that they finally canned him to avoid legal liability.

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