LookSmart slashes workforce

LookSmart slashes workforce

In an attempt to counteract poor performance, NASDAQ and ASX listed Web directory outfit LookSmart has today announced plans to sack 31 per cent of its employees across Australia and the US.

The move comes in the wake of reviewed revenue forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2000. The revised figures put the company's revenue at $30 to $31 million, versus its previous projections of $33 to $36 million.

Evan Thornley, LookSmart chairman and CEO, is attributing the fall in revenue to a decline in "untargeted advertising".

"Highly targeted online direct marketing is growing rapidly," Thornley said in a statement to the ASX. "In the fourth quarter, the parts of our business that were weakening did so faster and to a greater degree than expected. At the same time, our highly targeted listings businesses grew over 40 per cent from the third quarter despite very negative industry trends."

As a result, LookSmart has announced plans to focus on its core listing strategy more aggressively and shed 271 staff including 29 Australian positions.

According to the company's ASX statement the restructuring will see eleven operating groups combined into just four, and ultimately increase the company's profitability at a time of lower industry growth.

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