Two years ago, Corel CEO Derek Burney was CDN’s 2001 Top Newsmaker. However, he keeps slipping down the list as the software graphics company struggles.
This year he placed 14th on our list for his latest survival move, making a deal with Vector Capital, a San Francisco venture capital firm,
which took the company private by acquiring outstanding shares for an estimated US$98 million. The hope is it will inject research and development funds, giving Corel new products and a sense of stability that has been lacking in many years.
However, among Corel’s first moves after the purchase was another round of layoffs.
Microsoft Corp., which became a trusted partner back in 2001, sold off its stake in Corel and took US$100 million loss in the process. If that wasn’t bad enough, one of Corel’s long-standing fulfilment partners sued the software firm for $2.5 million over a contract dispute.
Saturn (Solutions) Inc. said it had filed suit against Corel in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice over an alleged breach of contract. Saturn, based in Montreal, provided reproduction, assembly, warehousing, packaging and CD-ROM manufacturing for Corel.
But on the bright side, Burney did end the company’s ill-fated attempt at direct sales by hiring John Deegan to run its channel and re-engage with the resellers.
Burney also supported several partner initiatives such as the new partner portal called Corel Connected. It serves the company’s partner base around the globe, centralizing information about the products, programs and services.
Corel also inked a deal with Synnex Corp. in a bid to expand its channel presence in the U.S. However, the Synnex deal had no impact in Canada.
Burney also introduced a new line of graphics software that came with affordable prices. The lineup includes Corel Print House 6, Corel Photobook, Corel R.A.V.E. 2, Corel Bryce 5, Corel KPT Collection, and CorelKnockOut 2.