MySpace slashes 30 percent of jobs

June 17, 2009 // 10:40 a.m.

Tags: #credit-crunch #job-losses #layoff #layoffs #myspace #social-networking

While, according to some, the global economy is starting to show the first signs of tentative recovery, the slowdown in spending is still finding new victims – most recently MySpace.

The social networking giant – currently owned by media conglomerate News Corp. – will be losing around thirty percent of its US workforce over the next few weeks, according to an article published over on CNet. The publication also quoted a source as saying that “senior management” was spared any job losses, with the cuts being made from further down the corporate ladder.

Although the company has only offered comment on its US-based headcount reductions, there are rumours afoot that further layoffs may occur elsewhere via consolidation of multiple offices in Europe.

Despite the massive loss, MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta attempted to put a brave spin on the news with the statement that previous staffing levels were “bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company.” While recognising that the job losses would be “painful for many,” Natta claimed that they were “necessary for the long-term health and culture of MySpace.

Natta believes that dropping its staffing levels will aid the company's future growth, and that it represents an opportunity to “return to an environment of innovation that is centred on our user and our product.” He explained in his memo to staff that "our company’s size became unsustainable. The future success of MySpace is dependent upon us operating as a nimble and entrepreneurial company with the adaptive mentality of a start-up... We need to become a more innovative company."

The social networking market is increasingly dominated by Facebook and Twitter; competing sites need a unique offering in order to stand out from the crowd, and whether MySpace has enough that potential remains to be seen. Does MySpace still have enough to offer a crowded marketplace, or are the job losses an early sign of its inevitable decline? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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