- The Washington Times - Monday, August 30, 2004

Manugistics Group Inc. announced yesterday it has fired its president, Jeremy P. Coote, who has been with the Rockville-based business software maker for a little more than a year.

The termination is effective today, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Chief Executive Officer Joe Cowan, who joined Manugistics in July to boost lagging sales, made the decision because the company did not need a president for the short term, said spokeswoman Sheila Blackwell.

“It’s a different environment in the [business software] market than it was a year ago,” when Mr. Coote joined the company, Ms. Blackwell said.

With that change and Mr. Cowan’s desire to have a more hands-on operation, he decided to take over Mr. Coote’s duties, she said.

Ms. Blackwell would not say whether Manugistics will later hire a president, citing the company’s “quiet period” in compliance with SEC rules.

The company will post results from its second fiscal 2005 quarter ended Aug. 31 in a few weeks.

Senior research analyst Andrey Glukhov said Mr. Coote’s firing was not a “total surprise.”

“It’s one of those things that can be expected” after Manugistics hired Mr. Cowan to cut costs and boost sales, said Mr. Glukhov, analyst with Southwest Securities Inc., a Dallas subsidiary of SWS Group Inc.

Mr. Glukhov, who rated the company as “neutral,” does not own any Manugistics stock. Southwest does not have a banking relationship with the company.

Manugistics’ shares, which have dropped 63 percent this year, closed yesterday on the Nasdaq Stock Market at $2.31, down a penny from Friday’s closing price.

Mr. Coote, who led sales, marketing, sales support and services, joined the company in June 2003 as president. Prior to his stint at Manugistics, Mr. Coote served as president of SAP America, a subsidiary of international enterprise-software company SAP AG.

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