5% Layoffs Rumored At MySpace (Updated – MySpace Clarifies, Says Performance Driven)

MySpace has starting laying people off, we’ve heard from a source close to the company. The final tally may be 5% or more of total staff, with engineering, sales and customer service taking the biggest hits.

MySpace parent company Fox Interactive Media recently missed their revenue target for the last fiscal year and fired their chief revenue officer Michael Barrett. The layoffs may be tied to that missed target.

On the other hand MySpace has undergone massive headcount growth over the last two years, sometimes adding as many as 100 employees per month. Two years ago MySpace had 300 employees; today it is rumored to have 1,500. This may be simply an exercise in pruning.

We’ve contacted MySpace for comment.

Update: I spoke with Amit Kapur, MySpace’s Chief Operating Officer, about the rumors shortly after writing the post. Kapur confirms that they are letting people go, but clarifies it’s entirely performance driven, not layoffs. He would not state the number of people who will be let go, but said it was “less than 5%” and that it is part of their standard yearly performance reviews.

“All of the employees we are letting go will be replaced,” he said, and “we are also rewarding top performers.” “This is an important way to drive a streamlined business,” he added. Kapur is also highlighting the upgrades being made to the MySpace management team. MySpace is continuing to hire aggressively, and plans to add up to 300 people in the coming months, he said. He also pointed out that MySpace is moving into new offices, with plenty of room to grow.