Saturday, September 16, 2000

Search engine AltaVista cutting 25 percent of work force

The Associated Press

        PALO ALTO, Calif. — Struggling Internet search engine operator AltaVista Co. is cutting 225 jobs, or about 25 percent of its work force.

        Venture fund company CMGI Inc. owns AltaVista, which has about 900 employees. The subsidiary will take a charge of about $7.5 million for the job cuts and to consolidate offices into the Palo Alto headquarters. The shuttered offices include those in Irvine, San Mateo and Palo Alto, Calif.

        AltaVista, which has lost more than $800 million since its inception, indefinitely postponed its initial public offering in April in the midst of a mass technology stock sell-off.

        AltaVista chief executive Rod Schrock has attempted several makeovers of the company in the past year as the 5-year-old company tries to gain ground against such competitors as Yahoo! Inc. and Lycos. The company in May laid off 40 employees, and in the past 18 months has added online shopping and financial message boards.

        The company said in a statement Friday that it expects to be profitable by the end of January by leveraging its search capabilities and selling that technology to other companies.


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