Alteva Bows to Landline Pressures With Layoffs

By Kelly Teal Comments
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Alteva Inc. is laying off 20 percent of its workers in Warwick, N.Y.

The cuts will leave the Pennsylvania-based service provider with 80 employees in Warwick and about 125 overall, according to reports.

Alteva is the new name of the 111-year-old Warwick Valley Telephone. Over the past several years, Alteva has been working to transform itself from a regulated company reliant on landline revenue to one profiting from unified communications. As a result, almost half of this week's layoffs are being felt among International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers personnel, and mostly in the landline business. Alteva said in a press release that the job losses impact both union and non-union workers; the company told the Times Herald-Record it's trying to save $2 million per year. In the first quarter of 2013, Alteva showed $833,000 in net losses.

"While it is a very difficult time for all of our employees, we believe that this reduction in staff is necessary as we further integrate our resources and align the business," said David Cuthbert, Alteva's president and CEO.

The layoffs mark another significant recent change for Alteva.

For example, Alteva said in a May 10 SEC filing it will need to restate the cash flows reported for all of 2011 and 2012, as well as five quarters throughout 2011 and 2012. Alteva said the reinstatement won't impact its operations, income, balance sheets or shareholder equity statements for those periods, nor does the it affect the net increases or decreases in cash and cash equivalents during those times. However, the company noted that it is "engaged in developing a remediation plan to address this weakness in its controls and procedures."

Then, earlier in the month, former president and CEO Duane Albro resigned from the board of directors. Alteva has a new president and CEO in Cuthbert, who succeeded Albro in early March; Cuthbert had been groomed for the post. Albro's subsequent board resignation was expected. As a result, according to a May 13 SEC filing, Albro agreed to a one-year non-compete agreement and received $375,000 in severance pay; another $95,000 in a lump sum; and a year's worth of life insurance and disability benefits for him and his family. Albro also is allowed to exercise his stock options any time before they expire.  

Meantime, on the heels of the layoff announcement, Alteva on Thursday said it has added capabilities to the call recording piece of its Archive product. There's an upgraded user interface that summarizes information, lets users add electronic markers in recorded calls, and that provides auto-alerts and advanced search functions. Alteva also added CRM integration. Alteva Archive is an SEC- and FINRA-compliant platform; all of the data collected on it are admissible in court. 

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