Ask Jeeves slices staff, sets 4Q charge

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Search engine and Internet company Ask Jeeves said it will cut 25 percent of its workforce - about 180 positions - and take a fourth-quarter charge of $10 million to $12 million for restructuring. Ask Jeeves last week warned that it expected a fourth-quarter pro forma loss of $18 million, or 50 cents a share - far wider than the 33-cents-a-share loss Wall Street analysts had expected. The staff cuts will help reduce costs by about $45 million in 2001, the company said, adding that it expects to achieve profitability in the fourth quarter of 2001. Skip Battle was named interim CEO, succeeding Rob Wrubel, who resigned last week. As part of the reorganization, Ask Jeeves will split into two divisions -- Business Solutions and Web Properties. Ask Jeeves runs a consumer search engine site and licenses its search technology to other companies.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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