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Autodesk Plans Layoffs amid Reorganization

The Industry giant reveals plans to lay off 500 employees amid reorganization.

San Rafael-based software developer Autodesk will cut more than 500 jobs, approximately seven percent of its workforce, the company revealed during an investor call on Thursday, the same day it announced disappointing financials that sent shares tumbling more than 21 percent.

According a report by Jon Peddie Research’s Graphic Speak, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass said during the call that “July was an unmitigated disaster.” Net income in the second quarter was $64.6 million, down nine percent from $71.2 million a year earlier.

“While we are reducing our overall staffing levels in the near-term, Autodesk will continue to invest in key development areas,” the company said in a statement to AWN.

Autodesk will cut about 520 jobs from its global workforce of more than 7,000 employees amid a shift away from traditional software hosted on individual computers toward mobile and Internet-based computing. The company will rehire a similar number of people during the next 12 months, remaining completely committed to having mobile and cloud become a major portion of its business in the next few years.

Autodesk said the layoffs were at most levels and divisions of the organization, although because the largest percentage of Autodesk employees are engineers, many of those laid off were engineers.

The second quarter of fiscal year 2013, which ended July 30, 2012, was the first full quarter of Autodesk’s new internal reorganization along industries instead of geographies. Part of the anemic performance could be based on macroeconomic factors in some global regions, said Bass, but the bigger problem was the company’s inability to respond quickly when a revenue shortfall began in July. “Our own execution challenges, combined with an uneven global economy, resulted in disappointing revenue results for the quarter. Organizational changes we made within the company earlier this year slowed us down during the quarter. …We are focused on working through our internal challenges as rapidly as possible.”

Bass said the company will take a “prudent approach” to spending for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends January 31, 2013. Steps will include layoffs, cutting the use of contractors, reducing non-sales related travel, and finding other ways to reduce non-essential spending.

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