Ailing social network MySpace said it is laying off 500 staff, or 47 percent of its workforce. It will include cuts to its international operations in the U.K., Germany, and Australia.
The company said it will enter into local partnerships in those markets to handle ad sales and content strategy, overseen by a “core” international team. In the U.K. that partnership will be News. Corp sibling .Fox Networks, while arrangements are being finalized in the other two markets.
The company gave no indication as to what portion of cuts would come from the United States versus international offices.
In a prepared statement, MySpace CEO Mike Jones said, “Today’s tough but necessary changes were taken in order to provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability. These changes were purely driven by issues related to our legacy business, and in no way reflect the performance of the new product.”
MySpace parent News Corp. re-launched the site late last year with a renewed focus on entertainment and music content, but executives have suggested a sale or closure of the service is being considered as it continues to miss revenue targets. In November 2010, News Corp. COO Chase Carey said the site’s turnaround was being “judged in quarters, not in years.”
Despite that fact, Jones said MySpace is “committed to rebuilding with an entrepreneurial culture and an emphasis on technical innovation,” and that the site has “seen an uptick in returning and new users” since its re-launch.
The cuts could help attract potential buyers, who would have lower overhead and limited international affairs to inherit.