Digital slowdown leads to job cuts at Razorfish

Digital media giant Razorfish is axing 43 more staff, including more than a dozen designers, in its second round of cuts in the past five months.

A total of 400 jobs will be lost throughout the world.

Razorfish has been forced to shed over 60 UK staff in recent months in direct response to a downturn in market conditions, which has seen the huge demand for digital projects drop.

Colin Barlow, the recently appointed managing director of Razorfish London, announced the losses as part of a series of cost reduction and service definition measures last week. Barlow joined Razorfish as its financial director in 1999, from within the Omnicom network.

His predecessor, Mike Beeston, relinquished his position at the London office to take up a role of strategic development director for Europe two weeks ago.

Barlow explains that Razorfish’s operations groups and its experience network are the two areas most affected, because their natural turnovers of staff have been below other divisions recently.

“We have seen [work] levels drop quite significantly, by about 35 per cent, and we expect these levels to remain fairly flat over the next few months, with a small upturn in the future,” Barlow says.

About further possible rounds of cuts, Barlow adds: “The company recognises that we have to give our remaining staff some security. The present priority is retaining the staff we have left.”

Barlow says operating losses have been eating up the businesses cash reserves, but with these measures “we have given ourselves enough security so that we won’t run out of cash”.

He says customer relationship marketing is the biggest area of growth and a large proportion of its work is now business-facing.

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