Computer industry briefs –

Oracle Corp. announced that former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart has joined the company and will become a member of its senior management team, reporting directly to CEO Larry Ellison. Lockhart will focus on refining and communicating Oracle's business strategy, the company said in a statement. Prior to joining the White House staff in 1997, Lockhart was national press secretary for the Bill Clinton/Al Gore 1996 re-election campaign.

Covad to Cut Operations, Jobs

Covad Communications Group Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., said it plans to cut its workforce by 13% and canceled the construction of a third operations site in Alpharetta, Ga. By taking these steps, the Digital Subscriber Line service provider hopes to cut its operational costs by 20% to 30% next year. Covad officials said layoffs will be made in all levels of the organization and will include operations, sales, marketing and support functions, affecting nearly 400 of Covad's full-time employees.

Short Takes

MicroStrategy Inc. in Vienna, Va., has made its chief financial officer head of some key day-to-day operations in a move aimed at assuring customers and investors that the struggling data-analysis software vendor is addressing financial problems that emerged earlier this year. . . . Embattled Belgium-based speech-recognition technology vendor Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. after failing to reach an agreement to get additional financing from its lenders. . . . New York-based Internet service provider Juno Online Services Inc. plans a trial run for offering high-speed Internet access over Comcast Cable Communications Inc. cable television lines in Philadelphia. . . . Commerce One Inc. in Pleasanton, Calif., has signed partnership deals with 11 electronic-marketplace providers in eight countries in Asia.

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