Aunenen - The Zero-G Research Firm board voted today to replace the company's COO for the second time in a year and a half after the company posted multi-billion ISK losses for the fourth quarter in a row. The Kaalakiota subsidiary has been dogged by production problems over the last year, despite a promising showing at last fall's Black Rise Development Conference.
The next-generation habitat presented at that conference, initially expected to go into production this summer, has been pushed off until at least early YC 113 due to continuing delays at component factories.
Many business analysts expected the change, citing not only Zero-G's business troubles but also rumors that outgoing COO Ishuhara Kappunen was regularly butting heads with Zero-G's suppliers and business partners. "Zero-G's stock has taken a pummeling since the announcement of the production delays," said Taimo Poraila, an analyst at Modern Finances, on today's "Games of State." "The board had to do something to reassure investors, and Kappunen was an obvious target."
Both Kappunen and his predecessor, Hetsen Appas, were previously high-ranking members of the Caldari Providence Directorate prior to being appointed COO, and Zero-G CEO Nanata Yansen is a prominent ally of Tibus Heth. This relationship has given some ammunition to the Directorate's critics, who have pointed to the problems at Zero-G as a case for Provist mismanagement. So far, however, the general public seems to be taking this as an isolated case, and confidence in Directorate leadership remains high.