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Oh, the irony. Autodesk has announced it will cut 10 per cent of its workforce and has lowered its fourth-quarter earnings forecast.

Usually, we wouldn't pay the travails of the 2D and 3D software design firm too much heed, but the cuts come just two days after executive chairman Carol Bartz was named the next CEO of Yahoo!.

That's the same Bartz who the search firm heralded as having a "proven track record of driving growth, operational excellence and shareholder value," and "exactly what Yahoo! needs to get back on a path towards achieving its full potential." Pundits, too, have been nodding sagely about the wisdom of the Bartz appointment while sticking the knife in to one-time CEO hopeful, and Yahoo! president, Susan Decker.

Autodesk said it intends to eliminate 750 jobs as part of a restructuring plan to reduce its annual operating expenses by about $130m annually beginning in fiscal 2010. The company also plans to consolidate certain facilities in addition to ongoing cost reductions, including a hiring freeze and business travel restrictions.

During the past year, the company's stock has lost 64 per cent of its value. Net revenue for its 2009 fiscal fourth quarter is now expected to fall between $475m and $500m. It previously had anticipated sales between $525m and $550m.

To be fair, it's amidst a global recession and Autodesk's revenues rose steadily during Bartz 17 years with the company.

"Autodesk has a strong cash position and leadership across multiple product sectors and geographies," CEO Carl Bass said in a statement. "The company has experienced several economic downturns during its 26-year history, and like before, we fully expect to emerge from the downturn stronger, more efficient, and more competitive."

The company plans to announce its fourth-quarter results on February 26. ®

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