Reduced growth forces Sophos to shed 80 jobs
Second round of job losses after a weak first half
Tough times in the information security market have obliged UK-based information security firm Sophos to draw up plans to reduce its workforce by around 7 per cent.
A decline in its rate of growth in the first half of this year prompted Sophos to make the tough decision to shed around 80 jobs. The job reductions will be achieved by a combination of consolidating admin functions in fewer locations and by the planned closure of its Ohio, US facility within 12 months. The facility, acquired through the 2007 acquisition of Endforce, develops and sells security policy compliance and Network Access Control (NAC) software but these days handles other roles, such as Mac software development, which will be moved to Vancouver. The NAC engineering team headcount will be reduced from 60 engineers to approximately 40.
Staff were told of the planned reductions on Wednesday via a series of memos from chief exec Steve Mumford. This detailed plans to "reduce our investment in areas of the business that have not been delivering the right level of return" as well as efficiency improvements and a clampdown "administration, facilities and travel" expenditure in all regions.
While reluctant to go into details, Nick Bray, Chief Financial Officer at Sophos, confirmed that the security firm was going through a process of "investment realignment". He said that customer technical support would "not be affected at all" by the process and repeatedly emphasised that affected staff will be offered support through the difficult redundancy process, which could result in some finding alternative jobs within Sophos.
"Sophos remain a very strong company with growth potential," Bray told El Reg. "We've enjoyed double digit growth for some time. By focusing on the right areas of our business and realigning our investment we can return to the same growth profile through organic growth and possible future acquisitions."
A previous round of job reductions saw Sophos losing one in 20 of its workers back in January 2009.®
Reduction in profit growth rate
Which means we're still growing profits, YoY and QoQ, so obviously they need to go fire a bunch of people.
This stinks of cost-reduction-to-meet-the-CEO's-financial-targets-and-protect/maximize-his-bonus. If true, expect more where this came from.
... quote from Graham Cluley?
Some of us already work there!
This is purely down to bad management at upper level. The "coal face" are honest, hardworking people and management are excellent. The country level are blind. The senior level are good guys. 24% growth last year in a recession is down to hard work and a good product set. The Sophos product is excellent, no two ways about it. The delivery is world class. Symantec / McAfee cannot touch the quality of provision that Sophos give. The greedy middle management wanted an extra 20% growth AGAIN and that was not feasible. Now hardworking people lose their jobs...
El Reg - I'm available for personal comment if you want. But I will not hear a bad word said about the management of the UK team - every one and every staff member is a credit to the industry.