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January 3, 2008 10:23 AM

InfoSpace cuts from top to thin operations

Posted by Tricia Duryee

Bellevue-based InfoSpace, which has been shedding business segments for the last year, announced today it was cutting $7 million to $9 million in expenses and laying off some employees.

Some of the bigger cuts are coming from the top, where five executives have been let go. In total, up to 40 positions are being eliminated, leaving 170 employees at the company, according to spokeswoman Stacy Ybarra.

In September, InfoSpace sold Switchboard.com, an online yellow- and white-pages business, to Dallas-based Idearc for $225 million in cash. The following month, it sold its mobile infrastructure business to Motricity for $360 million. That deal closed Friday.

After the two sales, the company is now solely focused on online search through its metasearch technology used on sites such as Dogpile and about 100 private-label partners.

"For the first time ever, InfoSpace has a singular focus," Ybarra said.

With its new focus, the company said it plans to slash expenses by $7 million to $9 million this year.

Senior executives who have left the company include: Steve Elfman (through the acquisition of Motricity), Brian McManus (through the acquisition of Switchboard), Alan Hsieh, John Foster and Bruce Easter.

Several promotions and appointments were also made: Bruce Allenbaugh was appointed to the position of chief marketing officer; David Binder, most recently vice president of finance, was promoted to chief financial officer and treasurer; Alejandro Torres, most recently senior corporate counsel, was promoted to general counsel and secretary; Sunil Thomas, most recently vice president of engineering, was promoted to chief technology officer; and Eric Emans, most recently controller, was promoted to chief accounting officer.

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