H4cked Off: The mystery surrounding 2e2 needs to be unravelled

By Sooraj Shah
13 Feb 2013 View Comments

"What am I supposed to eat this month?" was one of the many questions asked by employees made redundant by systems integrator and reseller 2e2.

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For me, it was a question that struck a chord. It reminds people that this is real; that while nearly one thousand people have been left unemployed, each and every one of them has their own story - and I'm sure over the next few months we will hear many more of them.

But the one story that we need to hear the most, is how and why 2e2 collapsed in a way that seemed so sudden. This is a company, remember, that had major customers like Vodafone trusting them with contracts worth millions of pounds.

So far administrators FTI Consulting are keeping tight lipped on what has gone wrong within the company.

Trevor Hackett, a former architect at 2e2, told Computing that there were issues like getting to the credit lines with certain suppliers that should have set alarm bells ringing among employees earlier.

Another ex-employee, who would like to remain anonymous, also stated that there were signs of financial troubles at the firm.

"Going back to the end of last year, bailiffs walked into one of our offices to lift items due to invoices unpaid. There was a constant battle getting invoices paid," she said.

The disgruntled employee added that she was promoted without a pay rise - terms that she accepted in order to prove herself worthy of the new role.

"Now I know why, as they were in trouble then but continued to con everyone," she claimed.

Hackett explained that the financial director, Simon Burton, was pushed out in late December and that in a bizarre turn of events, two restructuring "experts" were brought in on the first week of January. These "experts" were then made redundant along with 317 other employees.

It all points to the firm knowing that it was in trouble a little too late, trying to salvage something and then realising it was not worth salvaging.

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