Pandesic, the joint e-commerce venture between Intel and SAP, has delayed its European launch until late this year or early 1999.
The decision not to go ahead with plans to launch in the UK in May was made after the resignation of chief executive Bryan Plug and recent speculation that the venture was not yet hitting its targets.
When Pandesic was formed in August 1997, it was stated that the company would expand into Europe, and only six weeks ago it was still planning a May European launch.
Intel and SAP have kept Pandesic's financial condition secret and they expected it to continue making losses for many months. But sources claimed SAP was particularly disappointed with Pandesic's progress in finding customers.
Plug, who worked for SAP before taking over as Pandesic chief executive and president, wanted the company to press ahead with its European plans, but the board disagreed and pulled Plug from the role. He will remain with the company until 31 May, but 'is considering new opportunities'.
Howard Hughes, Pandesic chairman, will assume day-to-day responsibilities at the company.
Hughes said: 'We will miss Bryan, and wish him well in the future. US firms are only just now beginning to capitalise on the vast opportunities available for transacting business over the internet. These findings have prompted the short-term redirection of the Pandesic's efforts.'
Hughes insisted Pandesic's decision to scale down its plans was merely a delay and that the company was 'committed to expanding international capabilities in the Pandesic solution by the end of this year to enable its US customers to conduct business over the Net worldwide.'
SAP reaffirmed its support and participation in Pandesic, when it has already poured vast sums of money into the multimillion-dollar joint venture.
Paul Wahl, chief executive of SAP America and Pandesic board member, said SAP was confident about Hughes' management ability and the company's focus on selling its products.
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