Prodigy confirms layoffs

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Prodigy Services Co., White Plains, N.Y., Wednesday confirmed reports of staff layoffs. The online service and Internet access company eliminated close to 100 positions, or 15% of its 680-member work force. A spokeswoman confirmed that the layoffs were related to the company's strategy to rebrand Prodigy as a Web-based service. "We need new skill sets for this strategy," she said. Separately, a source close to the company confirmed that a management buyout led by Prodigy President Ed Bennett and up to 10 senior executives was under serious discussion with investment firm Wasserstein Perella Securities, New York, retained by the group to help them raise $250 million. Sears, Roebuck & Co. announced earlier this year it plans to sell its 50% stake in Prodigy; IBM Corp. holds the other 50% stake.

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