The Other Shoe Drops at 24/7 Media
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After a November 8 announcement of disappointing earnings and intentions to cut 200 jobs, 24/7 Media on Monday eliminated a number of employees, including several top executives, Internet Advertising Report has learned.
Although chief executive officer David Moore remains in place, some of the company's most senior management fell victim to the layoffs, with the sales operation especially hard hit, according to a source familiar with the situation. Joseph Apprendi, senior vice president of strategic sales; Bruce Mello, senior vice president of local sales; Scott Paternoster, senior vice president of sales; and Jay Drago, who had been vice president of operations, were among those let go, according to the source.
Sixty-five employees in the company's New York headquarters were laid off, IAR has learned, and some of 24/7 Media's offices were closed down as part of the cutbacks, although it is not known which offices were eliminated. The company declined to provide details or comment for this story, with a spokesperson saying only that it would make an official statement in December.
The layoffs are a part of 24/7 Media's recent increased focus on profitability, which became most apparent after Tom Detmer, who had been CEO of Exactis.com, was appointed president and chief operating officer of 24/7 in late October. 24/7 Media acquired e-mail marketing company Exactis.com back in February for around $490 million in stock.
The moves were largely seen as necessary for 24/7 Media, which missed its expected third-quarter earnings by a whopping $0.12 per share. At that time, Moore said the company was not satisfied with the results, adding that, "we experienced continued strength in both mail and technology and we intend to focus more of our resources in these higher margin businesses."
The acquisitions of Exactis.com, Sabela Media, Website Results, and AwardTrack have been cited as additional reasons for the layoffs. The purchases of these companies resulted in duplications of job functions, according to company officials. "We are going to look at opportunities to eliminate redundancies," said Moore in an October interview.
The layoffs clearly indicate that the company was dissatisfied with its sales operation, given that so many of its leaders were among those eliminated. In addition, by letting go some of these longstanding employees, 24/7 Media is hinting that it intends to take a new direction under Tom Detmer's leadership. Where the company will go, though, remains to be seen.
Shares of TFSM closed the day at $1.66, nearly 98 percent off its 52-week high of $65.25; trading hit an all-time low of $1.50 shortly before noon Monday.