Excite@Home chops 500 workers

Surely all the dead wood's gone by now?

Struggling Excite@Home is to axe 500 jobs in its ongoing battle to cut costs and keep its business afloat.

However, the move has only intensified speculation that the operation is facing bankruptcy and some rumourmongers claim that Excite@Home could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection within the next two weeks.

The job losses - which represent around a quarter of Excite@Home's workforce - come predominantly from the dotcom's portal operation.

Excite@Home has stressed again that this latest announcement is in line with its strategy to bail out of its online media and narrowband businesses and, instead, focus on its broadband strategy.

Said Patti Hart, chairman and chief exec of Excite@Home: "Selling and reducing our narrowband media assets that do not contribute financially or strategically to the broadband access business is the right direction for our corporate viability."

However, in a gloomy statement the company reiterated claims that it would need additional funding to continue operating, although it could not give any assurances that a cash in injection - or major restructuring - would necessarily save the company.

Excite@home also announced it would close its interactive marketing services subsidiary, MatchLogic, by the end of the year.

Earlier this month Excite@Home flogged its online greetings card business, bluemountain.com, to the American Greetings Corporation for $35 million in cash. The troubled dotcom said it would help cut overheads and deliver much-needed liquidity at a time when hard cash is in short supply. ®

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