MySpace to cut 300 international positions, close at least 4 offices outside the US

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MySpace to cut 300 international positions

LOS ANGELES — Social-networking site MySpace said Tuesday that it will cut 300 international positions and close at least four offices outside the U.S. as it looks to cut costs and narrow its territory coverage.

The move comes a week after the company said it would cut nearly 30 percent of its U.S. work force in a bid to become more efficient.

“As we conducted our review of the company, it was clear that internationally, just as in the U.S., MySpace’s staffing had become too big and cumbersome to be sustainable in current market conditions,” Chief Executive Owen Van Natta said in a statement. He rejoined the company in April.

The News Corp. division has been trying to bring its staffing level more in line with its more popular rival, Facebook. Recent data from tracking firm comScore shows Facebook has caught up with MySpace in monthly U.S. visitors for the first time.

MySpace has had difficulty growing its user base, which stands at about 125 million worldwide. Meanwhile Facebook has said that its usage has doubled to more than 200 million in less than a year.

Beverly Hills, Calif.-based MySpace plans to trim its international work force to about 150 employees from the current 450 employees and said it will have to consult on the plan with international workers in some countries.

The company says the restructuring applies to all of its international units and will leave London, Berlin and Sydney as its primary international hubs. Offices in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden and Spain will all be looked at for potential reductions.

MySpace China and a joint venture in Japan will not be affected by the restructuring.

In the U.S., MySpace plans to cut approximately 420 employees, bringing the total number of U.S. staff to 1,000. As of May, Facebook had about 850 employees worldwide, the vast majority in the U.S.

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