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Evite slashes work force by 60 percent

The online party invitation site lays off 42 workers as part of the company's plan to be acquired.

Party invitation site Evite.com slashed its staff by about 60 percent Thursday as part of the company's plan to be acquired.

As part of the layoffs, San Francisco-based Evite eliminated its marketing department and business development department and cut back its administrative costs, chief executive Josh Silverman said. In all, the company cut 42 of its 69 positions.

"We know we're going to be a part of a bigger company," Silverman said. "We're optimizing right now to be a part of a bigger company."

The layoffs come a week after Evite said it was actively seeking a buyer. Evite has hired investment bank Chase Hambrecht & Quist to help it in its search.

Evite's troubles are emblematic of the problems the online party-planning industry has faced. Earlier this year, eToys acquired eParties, and TimeDance.com ceased operations.

The layoffs did not affect any Evite executives, Silverman said. Evite employees who were let go received a severance package, he said.

The job cuts at Evite are only the latest in a long line of layoffs at dot-com companies. Earlier this week, Respond.com, eBay-owned Butterfields, Amazon.com-backed Pets.com, and Furniture.com all laid off staff. Pets.com and Furniture.com also said that they would cease operations.

Despite the layoffs, Evite customers should not notice any difference in service, Silverman said. "It's a solid, reliable product that doesn't take a ton of overhead to maintain."