RealTime IT News

Homestore Lays Off 20% in Restructuring

Westlake Village, Calif.-based Homestore.com Inc. announced a major restructuring Thursday, including cutting 20 percent of its workforce.

The company said it will reduce its workforce by 700 and take an undisclosed fourth quarter charge as part of the reorganization.

"While the reduction in staff is difficult, it is necessary to ensure the continued strength of the valuable franchise that we've established over the past five years," said Stuart Wolff, chairman and chief executive officer.

Organizationally, the Homestore plans to establish two primary operating groups -- the Real Estate Services Group and the Retail and Customer Services Group -- as well as a Corporate Development Group to handle mergers and acquisitions, business development, corporate partnerships and advertising sales.

The Real Estate Services Group will operate the company's businesses which focus on serving customers in the real estate industry. President Pat Whelan will lead the group, which will include the REALTOR.com, HomeBuilder.com, Homestore.com Apartments & Rentals units, and other real estate business units.

President John Giesecke will lead the Retail and Consumer Services Group. That group will operate the company's businesses which focus on localized merchants and service professionals, as well as consumer direct services. The unit will include the company's iPlace, Welcome Wagon and Local Online businesses.

Executive Vice President Allan Merrill will lead the new Corporate Development Group.

Homestore.com said more details would be available in its third quarter conference call scheduled for Nov. 1.