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411 operator, dials 411

The 411-directory assistance company, Metro One Telecommunications has finally dialed 411, and brought in investment bonk-ers to help the Oregon-based company get out of its current dire straits. And this means selling out the company to anyone who would buy them. The company has been under extreme pressure from Canadian investor Ken Peterson, who recently bought $4 million worth of Metro One stock, and has decided that he needs to be the new CEO. The stock is down to buck a share, from $45 a share back in 2001, when Metro One benefitted from all the 411 outsourcing undertaken by the wireless carriers. A lot has changed: cheaper off-shore options have pulverized the business, and the industry has consolidated very quickly. New technologies like Voice XML have made it possible for companies like Tell Me to automate the business. What more the company made some strategic mistakes. It started pushing a tele-concierge service called Infone, and spent $70 million on the marketing, but hasn’t really hit a home-run with that product.

metro one chart

7 Responses to “411 operator, dials 411”

  1. vincent

    I did’nt know it was so hard to apply for a 411 operator job must be like working for the city.Nobody wants to quit or the only way to get in is if you know somebody inside.(I like to work as a 411 operator within the san francsico,ca. bay area)THANKS