AST Research Inc.: The Irvine-based computer manufacturer said Richard Ottaviano, senior vice president of administration, will be leaving the company. Ottaviano joins a long list of top executives who have departed recently, starting with the resignation of former President James Schraith last month. Dennis Leibel, senior vice president of legal and treasury operations, will have administrative duties added to his responsibilities, AST said. In another change, Kevin Michaels will head up AST's worldwide planning, treasury and capital management.
The company said the changes are designed to reduce costs and streamline executive decision making. AST has been under pressure to improve its operations after a series of management mistakes contributed to a loss of nearly $100 million last year.