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MacMall Lays Off 45 in \"Corporate Restructuring\"

On July 26th, Creative Computers Inc., (Nasdaq:MALL) reported a net loss of $3.8 million, or about $0.03 per share for the three-month quarter that ended June 30, 1999. This compared to a net income of $212,000 for the same period last year.

Creative Computers, Inc., operates popular catalog-resellers such as MacMall, PCMall and ComputAbility. In addition, the company recently founded a new online venture — eCost.com — and retains a hefty stake in their wholly-owned subsidiary, uBid, a well-trafficked online auction site.

On Wednesday, August 11th, sources reported that the company had issued a layoff of 45 of their 400-plus work force. This included employees in positions ranging from marketing, purchasing, and product managers, right up to the president. The move was described to staff as being part of a routine "corporate restructuring."

Representatives at Creative Computers rudely denied reports of layoffs when AppleInsider correspondents first contacted them on Thursday, August 12th. However, several reports later, a second call was placed to the company's corporate headquarters on Wednesday, August 18th. A representative of Creative Computers' Human Resources group then confirmed reports of layoffs from the following week, but declined to provide additional details.

According to sources close to the company, a percentage of the employees who were let go had recently been rewarded with raises and job promotions. "I really don't understand what went down," one source said. "First they were rewarded, then they were issued their walking papers."

It is apparent that the company has made every attempt to keep a tight lid on the cuts, making no announcement and initially denying the reports. Additionally, sources warned that the company might attempt to downplay reports of layoffs by stating that there was no major restructuring or job cutting, but rather an "ordinary course of events took place that resulted in some employees losing their jobs."

In the words of a trusted source, "either they're putting toxins in the water coolers in Torrance, California, or there is something they just don't want the public to know."