MySpace To Terminate 2/3 Of International Staff

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Daily Crunch: New Poof Edition

MySpace is planning to lay off 300 of its 450 non-U.S. employees, it announced this morning, confirming our earlier report. Just one person in three gets to keep his or her job. The company has now announced that over 700 of it’s 1,800 total employees have been or will be laid off – 30% of U.S. staff last week, and 66% of non-U.S. staff today.

The company will not confirm whether Managing Director Travis Katz is still with the company (we reported earlier this evening that he has left the company). Update: sources at MySpace are saying that Katz will remain with MySpace and that “his role hasn’t changed.” The company will still not respond to an on-the-record request for comment about Katz.

TechCrunch Europe has the press release and email from MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta to what’s left of staff.

The company also says that it will close “at least 4 of its offices outside the United States,” adding “Upon completion of the proposed plan, London, Berlin, and Sydney would become the primary regional hubs for MySpace’s international operations. Under the proposed plan, MySpace would place all existing offices in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, and Spain under review for possible restructure. MySpace China, a locally owned, operated, and managed company, and MySpace’s joint venture in Japan would not be affected by the proposed plan.”

The email to employees notes absurdly that the “restructuring steps we have taken have laid the groundwork for an exciting new chapter of innovation for MySpace” (with nearly half of MySpace staff now laid off, the few that are left are thinking about everything except innovation). He also says “I look forward to working with you all and speaking with you in the coming days.” I’m sure he’ll get something less than a warm reception.

From: Owen Van Natta
To: FIM MySpace All
Subject: IMPORTANT: PROPOSED INTERNATIONAL RESTRUCTURE
Importance: High

Everyone,

Last week we made a number of changes to MySpace’s domestic structure in order to create a leaner, more nimble organization. Today, we are announcing the next step in our overall restructuring effort – a proposal to streamline our operations abroad.

Unlike our recent domestic restructuring announcement, what we are announcing today is a formal proposal we intend to implement, rather than an executed plan. As required by laws in countries where we operate, we will not implement the plan until we have consulted with potentially affected employees. As a result, even though the plan we are proposing today would apply to all international divisions of the company, a finalized international restructuring will be put into action over a period of days.

Similar to our domestic restructuring, our international plan is designed to rein in growth in staff and expenses that we cannot sustain. Our proposal would reduce MySpace’s international staff from 450 employees to approximately 150 employees and close at least 4 of our offices outside the United States.

Upon completion of the proposed plan, London, Berlin, and Sydney would become the primary regional hubs for MySpace’s international operations. Under the proposed plan, MySpace would place all existing offices in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, and Spain under review for possible restructure. MySpace China, a locally owned, operated, and managed company, and MySpace’s joint venture in Japan would not be affected by the proposed plan.

We are focusing on London, Berlin, and Sydney for two very simple reasons: (1) these are markets where we have a lot of MySpace users as well as the resources to allow us to compete effectively and (2) these are major international commerce centers where a robust MySpace presence can help our company develop new and innovative business partnerships.

As with the domestic changes we made last week, these proposed international reductions and eliminations will be extremely challenging – professionally and personally. These are difficult decisions and they are essential to our financial well-being and the re-establishment of our overall growth strategy.

Our goal to tap into as many international markets as possible drove us to create too many offices around the globe, and with them came inefficiencies. Under the new plan, we will refocus our efforts on regional business partnerships and integration in a smaller number of territories, while retaining a robust international presence. We remain steadfast in our commitment to reaching a global audience.

The last two weeks have been tough for everyone. The employees who leave us played an important role in the successes of MySpace in these international markets, and I thank them for their hard and dedicated work. The restructuring steps we have taken have laid the groundwork for an exciting new chapter of innovation for MySpace. I look forward to working with you all and speaking with you in the coming days.

Thank you,

Owen

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