October 4th, 2008 by Joshua Weinberger

It’s the middle of the night as I write this, and while I’m surprised to be posting a blogpost*, that’s not the biggest surprise of the week — I **thought** that was going to be the offer for Epicor, or maybe the VP debates (please don’t get me started; if you read my Twitterstream, you’ll know my opinion) — but while I was head-down all week trying to get our November Special Issue wrapped up, midmarket CRM vendor Entellium seemed to be coming apart at the seams, and CEO Paul Johnston is history—or, worse, deleted from history. [Details after the break…]

[*NOTE: There used to be a rambling opening line here, but I’ve removed it.]

First off, we’ve got no firsthand confirmation, and no one at Entellium seems reachable (read on for why), but the reporting seemed to snowball over the week:

Next, a h/t…My little snipehunt began with this tweet: http://snurl.com/42qf8

Bucholtz: Rumor central: Entire staff of Entellium walked out of the building this afternoon – company crisis or extremely elaborate fire drill?

But that was today! Friday, October 3rd — a little poking around (not very much, to be honest — what **did** we do before the Interwebs?) opened my eyes to the unRAVEling (ow — sorry — did I mention it’s late here?) of the bad news that’s been playing out at Entellium HQ in Seattle this week — excerpts from my Twitterstream tonight:

kitson No rumor, no lie: Entellium’s…umm…in flux. http://snurl.com/entellium1 CEO Paul Johnston? Gone. No word yet on why. [News from Wed 10/1]

kitson Wow. http://snurl.com/entellium2 Forget “in flux”– Entellium’s all fluxed up. Now it’s erasing Johnston from electronic memory. in reply to Bucholtz[News from Th 10/2]

kitson Black Friday @ Entellium: “Entellium today laid off its sales and marketing staff” http://snurl.com/entellium3 in reply to Bucholtz[News from today, Fri 10/3]

kitson “…the co’s PR mgr declined to comment about the situation, saying it was her last day @ the company.” I want a PR rep with that restraint.

So partly I’m saying, “Wow.” But I’m also saying, “I think we all got caught with our pants down a little.” Kristi Heim at The Seattle Times seems to be the only journo with any teeth in this thing yet. (In fact, a *big* h/t to you, Ms. Heim.)

Anyway, come Monday, we’ll start to dig into this in earnest. (From what I can gather, there’s an Entellium board meeting on Monday – so we’ll certainly know more after that.) But possibly someone out there already knows and wants to share with the rest of us…?

As inspiration, the “Entellium” page on Jobster is a little sad. Conrad Wesselhoeft and Colleen Aylward, in particular, may consider revising/updating their 2006 postings:

10/3/08 screenshot from Jobster: http://snurl.com/42ok8

10/3/08 screenshot, Jobster: http://snurl.com/42ok8

10/3/08 screenshot, Jobster: http://snurl.com/42ok8

10/3/08 screenshot, Jobster: http://snurl.com/42ok8

Comment field is below — have at it with news, rumors, speculation, Paul Johnston’s cell #…?

(Actually, if you could just direct-message that last part to me on Twitter…? =) )

j.

I am a journalist who covers technology startups in the Seattle area and I reported on some of the problems at the company after talking to an executive at their headquarters Friday.

http://www.wherearejohnandtodd.com/?p=377

Anyway, I will continue to report on the Entellium situation on the blog above as things develop.

A board meeting is scheduled for Monday and my sources are saying the company is very much on the ropes with nearly all of the staff let go.

Let me know if you hear anything more.

John Cook

Comment by John Cook — — October 5, 2008 @ 12:56 am

Joshua,

Some more reporting on the situation at Entellium — including a rival that is interested in the assets — here:

http://www.wherearejohnandtodd.com/?p=407

I will continue to track the story, which is an interesting one.

John Cook

Comment by john cook — — October 5, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

Great job Josh — you’re like McGiver with internet access….

Comment by Bob — — October 7, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

There is more to this story than the eye can see. What I believe happened is that Entellium investores got ropped. Paul Johnston lied to them about sales; he actually increased the sales on the books by over 300% just to get more funding, and then rop the business. He is no longer the ceo as we all know, but he is not even in the country with all the money stolen.

Did you know that Intel owns 20% of Entellium’s stock?
This is one good company gone bad. Also the news that avidian is buying them out is totally false, as a matter of fact they issued a statement about it before they even contact entellium or its investors!

Other real news is other real crm vendors have offered to buy some of entelliums assets such as it’s customer base, companies like Salesboom.com.

Comment by Greenberg — — October 7, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

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