The road at YellowBrick continues to be a tough one to follow, especially CEOs.

The software company, which raised more than $10 million last year, named its second chief executive officer in less than a year on Friday and also laid off half its staff.

James Neiser, a former chief marketing officer at Red Hat, is the new CEO, replacing Tom Hanlon.

Hanlon was the second new CEO in just 13 months when he took over in June of 2002. He replaced former president and CEO Bob Hostetler, who was shifted over to become chief operations officer. Company founder Gene Feruzza left the company in 2001 when the first round of layoffs halved YellowBrick’s staff.

YellowBrick closed on $3.9 million in November and has raised some $16 million since being founded in 2000. It closed on $6.2 million in February of last year.

At one time the automation software firm had 40 employees.

YellowBrick announced Biltmore Estates, Phillips Investment Resources and North State Communications as its first customers last year. Dataflux also is a customer.

The company had forecast sales of $5 million and predicted it would reach profitability in 2002.