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DataPlay Issues Layoffs, HW Rollout Uneffected

DataPlay reported that the round of layoffs the company experienced three weeks ago would not negatively impact the rollout of DataPlay-based hardware and media.

DataPlay quietly let go about 120 employees in July, slashing the company’s payroll by 50 percent, a company spokeswoman said. The company was forced to make the reduction due to financial constraints caused by the very tight venture capital market. The cuts were made across the board and no additional moves are planned.

Todd Oseth, DataPlay’s marketing and business development senior VP, said DataPlay will ship the same number of DataPlay drive engines this year as originally planned, but will cut back on the amount of internal, in-depth research. In addition, the company will lean on its partners like Imation and Toshiba to pick up some of the financial slack, he said.

Oseth said the iRiver brand DataPlay hardware devices are rolling out to a variety of retailers across the country, including CompUSA and J&R. Another model selling under the Classic brand will ship in a week, about three weeks later then scheduled.

Evolution, the third firm that had committed to rolling out a DataPlay device this summer, is taking a more cautious approach. The company originally was to be the first on the market with a model, but Brad Deifer, Evolution’s CEO, said he has pulled back and now intends to see how DataPlay’s current situation shakes out before introducing any product. The latest plans call for a model branded with the MTV logo through a licensing deal to be introduced in October.