Netopia, Unplugged


m-netopialogo.jpgEveryone wants a WiFi, but even that is not enough to staunch the bleeding at Emeryville-based Netopia, which seems to be unravelling. The company which makes all sort of assorted broadband and WiFi gear, and has a nice little software portfolio of products like Timbuktu Pro, is swirling down the toilet. Mac-heads should know about this company, it was called Farallon Communications back in the day. This morning, company’s CFO William Baker resigned. This comes closely on the heels of a delisting by Nasdaq, which has followed a restatement of earnings etc. It now trades on the Pink Sheets. Apparently there were some shenanigans that involved “software revenue recognition.” According to some class action suits filed against the company, Netopia, “concealed that it was experiencing weaker than stated gross margins due to higher component costs, that the Company was selling its products at lower prices to key carrier customers, that certain key customers were failing to participate in its 802.11g product launch, that its largest customers were altering their product mixes, and that several of the Company’s European customers changed their delivery standards, pushing out revenues.” What I am surprised about is that the story has gone completely unnoticed, even though the company is right under our nose. I have not seen WiFiNetNews cover this development either, unless of course I have missed it. Oakland Tribune had about 100 words on this whole mess.

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