Saturday, June 16, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Data Critical to relocate from Bothell to California

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Data Critical, the Bothell company that provides wireless communications to the health-care industry, said it is relocating its headquarters to Southern California and shutting down operations in this area. The publicly owned company is one of several that have announced layoffs or corporate restructurings as the quarter comes to an end and companies work to shore up their financial prospects.

In addition to Data Critical, Humongous Entertainment and Saflink are both reducing their staffs and restructuring their operations.

Data Critical said it is completing its move to Tustin, Calif., where it will join VitalCom, a company it recently acquired. Two Seattle-area facilities will be closed, leaving its Tustin, Oklahoma City, and Fairfield, N.J., sites open.

The company's workforce will be reduced by 22 percent, or 60 employees, most of whom work in the two local facilities. Some will be offered relocation to Tustin, the company said. There will be 210 employees remaining.

At Humongous, a pioneer in entertainment and educational software for children, more than 40 percent of the 117-employee staff is being laid off immediately.

"We're refocusing to make it a production-development studio," said Nancy Bushkin, spokeswoman for Infogrames, which acquired Humongous in 1999. "The marketplace has changed and become more competitive."

She said one focus will be on the Bothell company's "Backyard" sports series. Future versions of games featuring Humongous characters - Freddi Fish, Pajama Sam, Putt-Putt and Blue of "Blue's Clues" - will be developed only as the market demands them.

At Saflink, a Redmond company producing biometric security products, a new executive team has been named as part of a restructuring that may allow the company to remain listed on the Nasdaq stock market.

Glenn Argenbright, former chief executive officer of Jotter Technologies, an Elk Grove, Calif., company that merged with Saflink in September, is being named CEO, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. He replaces Jeffrey Anthony, who joined Saflink in 1992. Steve Oyer, a director at Jotter, was named chief financial officer at Saflink, replacing James Shepperd.

Nasdaq halted trading in Saflink on May 31 and is considering delisting the stock, which last traded at 24 cents.

Saflink is also cutting staff by 42 percent and closing or downsizing some offices. At the end of March, it had about 50 employees in three offices.

Information from The Associated Press and Seattle Times business reporters Tricia Duryee, Sharon Pian Chan and Brier Dudley is included in this report.


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