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5 key Iomega employees leaving in 'a kind of normal progression'

ROY -- Three Iomega executives and two other key company officials are gone or going from the company that is known as well for its turbulence as it is for its technology.

However, while Iomega does have shake-ups planned, chief executive officer Jodie K. Glore said the situation is "just a kind of normal progression.""This is not a house cleaning," he said Wednesday, characterizing most of the departures as changes that often take place in clumps. "I really don't want to stand in their way when they have other opportunities."

News of company-driven realignments are due in the next week or two, he said, and Iomega plans to announce the formal launch of its PCMCIA Clik! drive for laptop computers Thursday.

Scott Flaig, executive vice president and chief operating officer, is retiring from Iomega. Laurie B. Keating, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, is leaving. Robert J. Simmons, vice president and treasurer, left less than two weeks ago to take the post of chief financial officer at Campus Pipeline Inc. in Salt Lake City.

Susan Stillings, director of corporate communications, is in the process of leaving. And Tyler Thatcher, director of investor relations, left for a post at Campus Pipeline as director of corporate finance and investor relations.

"My move was more a function of a great opportunity I perceived than anything going on at Iomega. I had a great time at Iomega. I think the world of the folks that are left there," Simmons said.

Thatcher said his move gives him an expanded role in a younger company.

Neither Keating nor Stillings could be reached for comment.

Flaig is retiring and moving to Texas to pursue consulting and academic roles, according to a company statement. John L. Conely Sr., Iomega's vice president of personal storage operations since October 1997, has been named as Flaig's replacement and will have the title of executive vice president, global operations.

Iomega has been dogged by lawsuits over rebate problems, technical service charges and technology flaws. CEO Kim Edwards resigned in March 1998 as the company reported its first operating loss. Fred Forsyth, professional products division president and general manager, and Ted Briscoe, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, both left the company last year.

Iomega stock jumped in October when Glore, then a Rockwell senior vice president, took Iomega's helm. Company value continued to climb after Iomega announced plans in November to build a new manufacturing plant near its Roy headquarters.

But some company news since has continued to frustrate investors, with Iomega stock steadily sliding from January levels near $10 to trading Wednesday at $4 per share. Iomega announced plans to consolidate some manufacturing facilities, which will include layoffs, by July; and word got around that Edwards left with a golden parachute worth nearly $800,000 in cash and stock options and a $5 million loan.

Glore said the quality of Iomega's products is easier to control now that the company is not growing at a rate of 200 percent per year, as it was when Zip was first hitting the market.

He said Iomega plans to strengthen the brand by developing strong partnerships as it promotes new products and with a marketing approach that focuses on how customers can use Iomega products to solve problems.