updated 02:15 pm EST, Tue January 11, 2011
MySpace cuts 47 percent of workers
MySpace today confirmed job cut rumors in a bid to keep the social network afloat. The company is dropping 500 workers, or about 47 percent of its entire workforce. It didn't say where these would be focused but made ad deals in Australia, Germany and the UK that implied more of the cuts would be located outside of the US.
CEO Mike Jones made clear that the cuts were to keep the site financially viable in its new, leaner form rather than its previous, all-encompassing form. "Today's tough but necessary changes were taken in order to provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability," he said.
The news came with minor signs of recovery, such as 3.3 million new accounts since the redesign and a four percent jump in those using the mobile version, at 22 million. Officials didn't say how many customers had left the service in the meantime.
MySpace has been struggling in recent years as Facebook's cleaner look and more frequent feature additions helped keep it ahead. Multiple redesigns and an attempt to compete with iTunes together had little effect.
While not confirmed, the takeover backs rumors of the cuts grooming MySpace for a possible sale to a buyer. Only Yahoo has been mentioned as a possible candidate so far, but it's unknown if any companies have expressed serious interest. Parent firm News Corp. has warned that it might sell or kill MySpace if it can't become profitable in the near future.