Viant latest to slash staff, trim overhead

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Several Internet consultancies closed offices, laid off staff and refocused business strategies in an effort to reduce costs. Viant is laying off nearly 20 percent of its staff and closing its Dallas office to reduce costs and shift its focus. As part of the plan, the Boston-based company will trim its work force by about 17 percent or 125 employees, 99 of which are consultants. The company said it will take a charge of approximately $5 million to $7 million in the fourth quarter as a result of the restructuring. The charge will come primarily from severance packages and related expenses from cutbacks and other charges related to the closing of its office in Dallas. Earlier this week, Web consultancy Xpedior, Chicago, said it would close several offices, trim nearly 32 percent of its staff and shift its focus to providing clients help with integrating their Web-based systems with traditional applications. And San Francisco-based Scient is cutting about 460 jobs as part of its restructuring effort. The layoffs, effective immediately, amounted to about 25 percent percent of Scient's 1,400-person staff. Scient is closing offices in Silicon Valley and in Austin, Texas.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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