McAfee Sends Out More Pink Slips

Security software vendor McAfee has laid off a number of employees throughout the company as part of its ongoing effort to cut costs.

Security software vendor McAfee Inc. has laid off about 100 employees in a number of groups throughout the company as part of its ongoing effort to cut costs and improve the companys operating margins.

Officials at McAfee, based in Santa Clara, Calif., would not specify which departments were hit by the layoffs. However, sources close to the company said that the sales and channel organizations both lost a number of people.

"It was in a variety of groups across the company," said Jennifer Keavney, a spokeswoman at McAfee. "But it wasnt just limited to the U.S."

McAfee executives had hinted about the possibility of layoffs for several weeks in their public statements and reiterated plans to achieve a 25-percent operating margin by the middle of next year. As part of that strategy, the company consolidated its customer support organization and also outsourced some of those positions to offshore companies. But that process is complete, the company said.

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The layoffs, which officially took effect June 30, represent about three percent of McAfees total workforce of 3,200 people. The company did not disclose the job losses in an official statement because the number of people laid off was not large enough to have a material impact on its business, a company representative said.

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Many McAfee employees sensed that the layoffs were coming and began making inquiries about openings at other technology companies within the last couple of weeks, according to sources.

This is the third round of layoffs within the last 14 months at the company, which changed its name from Network Associates Inc. last week. In January the company laid off an undisclosed number of people in its Sniffer unit, due mainly to its outsourcing efforts. McAfee has since sold Sniffer. And in May 2003 the company let go 150 employees, including a number in the sales organization.

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