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Cybermark announces major restructuring

Bill Norwood resigns as company Vice Chairman

On Friday, March 8 CyberMark distributed a press release announcing a corporate restructuring that included the resignation of Bill Norwood, longtime card industry veteran and CyberMark Vice Chairman.

CyberMark established itself as the campus market’s premiere provider of smart card systems and is responsible for the vast majority of all smart card installations on North American campuses. It began as an internal project within student loan giant Sallie Mae, before being spun out into an independent company in 1996. A 1997 deal between the new company and Florida State University brought Bill Norwood and a team of individuals that had worked with FSU’s smart card program into CyberMark. As of this printing, the CyberMark web site lists 23 campus clients using the company’s smart card system.

CyberMark’s operational headquarters has been located in Tallahassee, Florida since the relationship with FSU was initiated. While the March 5 press release did not detail the number of positions cut in the restructuring, the Tallahassee Democrat (March 11, 2002) suggested that the cuts could be as high as 20. Laura Snyder, Director of Marketing for the company, declined to comment on the specific number citing only that, “any layoff is certainly more than we would have wanted to see go.” She stated that the cuts, however, were required in the interest of better service to customers and improved delivery of new applications. She added, “the majority of the cuts occurred among the product development staff though all areas were impacted to some degree.”

CEO Glenn Santmire credited Norwood stating that, “Bill has played an invaluable role in the success and growth of this company since its inception. His vision made CyberMark the leading provider of smart card solutions in Higher Education and has paved the way for CyberMark to explore future opportunities in other markets.” Mr. Norwood was contacted in the preparation of this article but declined to comment.

In February at the National Association of Campus Card Users meeting, Cybermark’s new VP of Sales, Richard Lewis, announced a relocation of the sales and marketing functions to Atlanta. Ms. Snyder confirmed this statement adding that client services, technical support, and product development will continue to be run out of Tallahassee. She reported that the new management team will consist of Glenn Santmire, CEO; Richard Lewis, VP of Sales; and Al Gilligan, VP of Client Services.

When asked of the main goal of the restructuring, Ms. Snyder said that along with a continued focus on higher educationwill come a more comprehensive attempt to bring the company’s other core markets–automotive and gift cards–into focus. Rather than having three separate and distinct products and offerings for the three markets, there would be a move to enable work and development done for one market to benefit the others as well. She suggested a new company focus on a common development platform as a means to this end.

As this announcement was made only days prior to publication time, CR80News staff was unable to contact all the parties involved. In the coming days, we will attempt to learn more about the restructuring efforts and what it could mean to the higher education card market. Look for more details in our April issue.

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