Netcentives Cuts Workforce

Incentive marketer Netcentives continued its efforts at restructuring Thursday, laying off 28 percent of its 180-person workforce.

Although the firm wasn’t specific about what positions would be cut, it said the jobs affected were not in the San Francisco-based company’s email marketing group. That group was put on the block earlier this year. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray is handling the sale of the unit, which formerly had been known as Post Communications, and which Netcentives had acquired a year ago for about $333 million in stock.

On Wednesday, the company said it had received a delisting notice from Nasdaq, on the grounds that its stock price remained too long below the exchange’s $1 minimum. When trading reopens — on Friday at the earliest — the company’s stock will be removed from the National Market, since officers said they would not file for an appeal.

The news isn’t the first effort by the company — which provides tools for incentivized customer and employee loyalty programs — to adjust to changing conditions in the market. In late July and early August, the company announced changes to its upper management and unveiled a number of other restructuring efforts designed to better position Netcentives’ offerings, as the online marketing sector continued to suffer from cuts in client budgets.

The changes saw chairman West Shell III cede his position as chief executive to president Eric Larsen, and involved cuts of about 165 employees — a move to save the company about $40 million annually. Company officers also said at the time that the company would focus on financial services clients — an area in which Shell said the company has “a significant competitive advantage,” and which the firm expects will pursue advertising and marketing efforts more vigorously than some other industries.

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