MySpace sacks half of workforce
LOS ANGELES, Jan 12, 2011 (dpa - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
MySpace on Tuesday sacked half its workforce, or some 500 employees, the company announced, as the once-leading social network adjusts to life in the shadow of the all-conquering Facebook.
"Today's tough but necessary changes were taken in order to provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability," chief executive Mike Jones said.
The move comes some three months after the site, which is owned by News Corp, relaunched itself as an entertainment hub for young people, having raised the white flag in its battle with Facebook.
"These changes were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product," Jones said. "The new organizational structure will enable us to move more nimbly, develop products more quickly and attain more flexibility on the financial side."
News Corp bought MySpace for 580 million dollars in mid-2005, when the site was the leading social-networking destination on the internet. But it was eclipsed by Facebook in 2008, and according to many industry analysts is now being groomed for sale.
Facebook recently raised a 500-million-dollar investment round led by Goldman Sachs, which valued the company at 50 billion dollars, or about 100 dollars for each of the company's 500 million members. The company is expected to go public in 2012.
MySpace's audience in November was estimated at 81.5 million users, according to web tracking firm ComScore, down from 108.1 million users a year earlier.
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