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January 15, 2008 10:58 AM

Digeo's other shoe drops: CEO leaving, products killed, staff halved

Posted by Brier Dudley

Paul Allen apparently is expecting more from Digeo, his Kirkland set-top box company that's been unable to fulfill some of the big promises it made to the consumer electronics crowd.

Today, the company announced that it's scrapping plans for supercharged digital-video recorders for the consumer market that it announced a year ago at the Consumer Electronic Show. Instead it's focusing on a box aimed at cable companies that's now in testing and a next-generation box, details of which weren't announced.

Digeo's also laying off 80 of its 160 employees and replacing its CEO, former Sony executive Mike Fidler. Greg Gudorf, president and chief operating officer, will take Fidler's spot.

Something was clearly up at Digeo. The retail DVR was supposed to be available by November but was delayed, with no word on when it would be available. Digeo had a presence at this year's CES but abruptly canceled its press conference Monday.

"With our revised product strategy, it made sense to realign our leadership team as well," Fidler said in a release. "I remain very enthusiastic about Digeo's mission, its Moxi products, our partnerships and Greg's
leadership capabilities. While the new strategy is absolutely the right thing to do for Digeo's business, Greg and I both profoundly regret the personal consequences of this action for our employees who will be

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.