Shake-up at Majesco

Interim CEO refuses to stick around if relatives are fired; two board of director members resign.

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New Jersey-based publisher Majesco is coming off a terrible 2005 year in which its stock price plummeted from over $15 to around $1, its shareholders sued the company alleging lies in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and it scrapped plans to make a name for itself as a top-tier publisher of full-priced games. The publisher's 2006 year isn't off to a great start, either, as the company filed forms with the SEC yesterday indicating that two members of its board of directors have walked from the company, just as it teeters on the verge of being de-listed from the Nasdaq stock market.

According to the filing, the Majesco board of directors appointed Morris Sutton as the company's chairman and interim CEO last Friday. That same day, board members James Halpin and Marc Weisman quit the company, explaining in their resignation letters that Sutton would not commit to staying with the company if the board of directors had insisted that he fire "certain other members of the Sutton family employed by the company." Though no family members were pointed to specifically, Sutton's sons, Jesse and Joseph, are Majesco's president and executive vice president of research and development, respectively. In their letters, Halpin and Weisman both said that the elder Sutton's participation in the company was of "great importance," so much so that they would rather resign than risk him leaving Majesco.

Majesco's filing also noted that the Nasdaq stock market has told the company that it no longer qualifies to be listed, since it doesn't meet the requisite minimum of $10 million in stockholders' equity. Nasdaq gave the company until February 21 to provide a plan to become compliant with these regulations. Majesco said it is currently weighing its alternatives.

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