i-mate boss speaks out over company’s problems

Exclusive: CEO blames current predicament on fraud case; says business will continue

Tags: FraudUnited Arab Emiratesimate Carrier devices
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i-mate boss speaks out over company’s problems Morrison insists that the i-mate business and brand will live on. (ITP Images)
By  Andrew Seymour Published  September 23, 2009

The CEO of smart phone maker i-mate has spoken out over the company's recent troubles in Dubai and insisted that the business and brand will continue to live on.

Employees at i-mate's Dubai operation were made aware of the company's financial plight earlier this month. They were initially told to take compulsory unpaid leave, but last week i-mate's office in Dubai Internet City was closed and phones went unanswered.

Jim Morrison, who founded the device maker eight years ago, said the company had run into difficulties after uncovering a "major fraud" committed by a senior employee within the organisation.

Morrison said the fraud was discovered at the end of August and the case is now with the police.

"This all happened just before we were launching [a new device range]. We produced all the paperwork, we have the devices and so we have to sort this problem first," explained Morrison.

He said the company was still committed to launching its new range of smart phone products and would offer new contracts to retailers if required.

Morrison said the situation had made it difficult for i-mate to pay staff on time and led to around 30 of its 40-strong workforce being laid off.

It is understood that some former employees are considering raising their dispute with local authorities, which Morrison admits would make it difficult for the company to do anything with its Dubai operation for now.

However, he insists that "everything about i-mate will continue".

He said: "We are keeping the brand, we are putting out products, and we will be looking for more funding of course. There is a lot of good stuff happening."

Morrison, who is currently in the UAE but is normally based in the US, said that it was still too early to say if the office in Dubai would eventually re-open. However, he said the company still continues to operate in other markets around the world and would seek to maintain customer relationships in the region even if it meant serving the market from elsewhere.

i-mate is preparing to release a statement with further details this afternoon.

3465 days ago
former imate employee

How come your site does not show all the other comments about this article? Check the site for errors! Or don't you want to show the other side of the story? Editor's reply: This is an error, we are still having some teething problems with the new site but we have started fixing this at the weekend. And rest assured, we will be following up on the employee's side of the i-mate story very soon. And we noticed that the promised statement from i-mate never appeared last week.

3466 days ago

It was sure to happen , a company with a complete lack to customer service , cant exit in this market, i had purchsed a smartphone pda2k , and had a hell lot of problems with from the voice quality, and bluetooth - for the bt problem the customer service kept on tell to use only jabra headsets as there were the only one on which the pda2k worked, the staff was so under- qualified that they did not know that the bluetooth was universal platform, the most stupid thing the techanical staff kept to saying was we are waiting for update and those updates never came and problems were never solved , only new model we lanuched one after the other, i am sure they did not sell , that the true reason for the fall of company, once a cellphone sales person inform with the lanuch of HTC came the fall of imate as i was informed imate was being made by HTC OEM , so as per me , it got 8 year , u can call it lucky , as it should have shutdown earlier

3469 days ago
Another I-mate Employee

Actually everything Jim has said in this article is absolutely true, and employees were told what was happening the very next day after Jim found out himself. Each employee was offered to take sabbatical, stay with the company in hopes that it could be sorted and their salaries would be re-instated, or leave to find other employment. That was generous, and all that anybody could do be expected to do in that case.

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