February 6, 2009, 12:00 AM

Parent of Perfume.com replaces its president and cuts staff by 38%

Jonathan Ehrlich, who joined Live Current in 2007, has been replaced as president by chief corporate development officer Mark Melville. Live Current, which owns Perfume.com, is also laying off 38% of its staff.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Live Current Media Inc., which operates Perfume.com, has replaced Jonathan Ehrlich as president and announced other cost-cutting measures, including the layoff of 38% of its staff, to cope with growing losses and a tough economy.

Ehrlich, who joined Live Current in 2007 as president and chief operating officer after working as executive vice-president, online at Indigo Books & Music Inc., has been replaced as president by chief corporate development officer Mark Melville. Ehrlich will receive a severance package of more than $500,000, including $298,000 and a bonus of about $250,000, Live Current says in a regulatory filing.

The company’s other cost-containment measures include laying off about 38% of its staff, freezing pay and asking certain senior managers to forgo a bonus or take a reduction in pay. Live Current also announced the sale of certain domain names to an unnamed party for $500,000. The cost-cutting measures will generate about $1.3 million in savings, the company says.

"We expect these cost saving initiatives to significantly reduce our cash burn in 2009," says Live Current chairman and CEO Geoff Hampson, who is reducing his annual compensation by one-third. "We will continue to seek opportunities to scale our cost structure to meet the challenging global economic times and to help us to achieve our goal of having our business units operate at a profit or, at the least, cash flow break even.”

Live Current recorded a net loss of $3.05 million on sales of $1.95 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008 vs. a net loss of $429,166 on sales of $1.77 million in the prior year. Through the first three quarters of fiscal 2008 Live Current, whose properties include Perfume.com, No. 469 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, recorded a net loss of $7.01 million on sales of $5.74 million vs. a net loss of $677,118 on revenue of $5.11 million in the first nine months of 2007.

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