UK-headquartered online directory and classified ads business yesterday lost its contentious chief executive Robert Bonnier as it admitted having “insufficient working capital for the next twelve months.”

Bonnier – also Scoot's second-largest shareholder with a 7.3% stake – resigned partly for “personal reasons” and partly as an element in a “strategic reorientation” dubbed Project Genesis. Scoot intends to focus its operations on the UK (its largest market), cut 285 jobs and convert its sales force from a field-based operation to telesales.

Scoot has only enough working capital to last to September and forecast a £5 million deficit by June 2002. The news caused shares almost to halve from 7 pence to 4p.

Also resigning is chief finance officer Ronald Dorjee, who will stay on until a successor is appointed. Chairman Dick Eykel will fill in for Bonnier until a replacement is found, with support from Jon Molyneux, who moves up to chief operating officer from UK ceo.

News source: Financial Times