Rubus blames staff cuts on slowdown in digital

Independent UK e-business consultancy Rubus has axed 11 of its 33 creative staff in response to falling demand for its digital consultancy services. In total 70 of its 300 employees have been made redundant.

The job cuts have been “driven by the huge changes in the marketplace”, according to Rubus head of creative consulting and former head of Fitch Interactive Steve Potts.

“The cuts we have made, mainly in the consultancy area, will leave us with a creative team of 22 people in the UK,” he says.

Potts says Rubus will not be making another round of cuts and is optimistic that the market will pick up shortly.

Rubus’s investors Schroder Ventures and Warburg Pincus remain committed to the group’s future and have since announced a second round of funding worth £10m, he adds.

“Our intention [with the cuts] was to make the right decision once. No business can survive the death of the thousand cuts,” he says. “But the technologies we are working with are not fads. They are not going to go away.”

He describes a market for digital client work, which has seen enormous flux over the past 12 months as maturing. The once frantic and insatiable demand for on-line projects seems to have “settled down”, he says.

“Lead times have got longer and there is an awful lot less dotcom work around.

“There was a time when we could only satisfy the demand by getting bigger and bigger. But clients are being much more choosy about their projects now,” Potts adds.

Rubus claims to have increased revenue from £9.1m to £13m over the past 11 months.

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