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WebVisible Slashes Jobs, Looks to Consolidate HQ

Irvine-based software startup WebVisible Inc., which helps businesses buy and target online ads, is set to cut its workforce by half and consolidate its Southern California operations.

The company cut some 112 jobs at its Irvine, Playa Vista and East Coast offices.

Most of the jobs cut were salespeople and account managers.

The company plans to consolidate its Southern California operations in one of the local offices.

“We have gone through a right-sizing of our business to get it to profitability,” said Geoff Stevens, executive vice president and general manager of global business development for WebVisible.

WebVisible shut down its Charlotte, N.C. office earlier this month.

It’s set to keep its operations in India, which has about 15 workers.

2010 was an up-and-down year for WebVisible.

A year ago, it secured $20 million in a third round of venture funding, bringing its total to about $37 million.

In April, the company said it was on a hiring fast track and looking to grow to 500 workers.

There were signs of trouble at WebVisible in October, when the company announced job cuts locally and an executive shakeup.

Founder Kirsten Mangers stepped down as chief executive suddenly to pursue “philanthropic activities.”

In her place is Ron Burr, cofounder of Woodland Hills-based Internet service provider NetZero Inc., who joined the company as chief operating officer at WebVisible in 2009.

Mangers kept a board seat.

The company was growing too fast to stay profitable, according to Stevens.

“The previous management team in this company took a path of really aggressive investment with venture dollars to grow the business,” he said. “We made the decision that we need to manage the business at a sustainable level, on the sales we have today.”

WebVisible’s software helps businesses buy and target online advertisements.

WebVisible’s services target smaller businesses—from one-person shops to companies with 250 workers.

Its software automates the process of buying online advertising.

Part of its revenues come from direct sales. The rest comes from licensing deals and media partnerships with Web publishers and other media groups that use its advertising software.

Going forward, WebVisible plans to focus on doing more partnerships.

“We are focusing our resources and investment into innovation, technology and strategic partnerships,” Stevens said.

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