newegg

Its IPO Still Nowhere In Sight, Newegg CEO Tally Liu Is Out

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Last we’d heard from Newegg, the major online electronics retailer, was when the company filed for a $175 million IPO back in September 2009.

Now we hear former President Tally Liu, who took over the CEO role from founder and chairman Fred Chang a little over two years ago, is out.

Details are scarce for the moment, but Chang will apparently be resuming his previous role as the global CEO of Newegg, while S.C. Lee, the company’s executive vice president and director since 2005, has been appointed as the acting President of Newegg North America.

Liu gets thanked for ‘past contributions’, but other than that Newegg’s statement is void of any details about the man’s unexpected departure.

Before joining Newegg, Liu was Vice President of Internal Audit at Knight Ridder, a major media chain acquired by The McClatchy Company. For nearly three decades before joining Newegg, Liu held various executive finance positions within Knight Ridder and its subsidiaries.

Major shareholder Insight Venture Partners’ managing director Deven Parekh merely expresses his “support for the executive team changes” at Newegg in a statement.

We’ve contacted Newegg to see what’s going on but have yet to hear back.

When Newegg filed to go public nearly a year ago, the electronics retailer’s financials were revealed. The ecommerce company, which specializes in online sales of computer hardware and software, at the time said it had turned a profit since its founding in 2001.

In 2008, Newegg posted sales of $2.1 billion, albeit with razor thin profit margins, and boasted over 2,000 employees, according to the SEC filing.

Almost one year after the filing, the Amazon competitor has yet to make any new announcement regarding its intent to go public. It’s possible that this delay was a factor in Liu’s sudden departure, although this is purely speculation on our part.

This year has been rocky for Newegg, though.

In February, the online retailer was sued by three former employees accusing it of numerous labor and business abuses, such as violating “a slew of labor laws, overwork[ing] and abus[ing] immigrant workers and order[ing] employees to hack into competitors’ computer systems.” Newegg has always denied those allegations.

In March of 2010, Newegg – inadvertently – sold 300 counterfeit Intel Core CPUs. Initially, the company stated that the processors were “demo units”, but later said that they discovered that the processors were actually counterfeit, and that the company was terminating its relationship with one supplier in response.

Earlier this month, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled against Newegg in a patent infringement lawsuit brought on by Soverain Software over shopping cart software and other related e-commerce applications. The suit was originally filed in November 2007 against Newegg and other Web retailers, including Zappos.com (now an Amazon company).

On 11 August 2010, the judge ruled that Newegg has infringed on several patents and ordered Newegg to pay $2.5 million in damages.

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