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Food.com lays off half its staff; execs step down

The restaurant guide and takeout ordering site lays off about 100 employees and loses its chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

Food.com today slashed its staff by 50 percent, laying off about 100 employees, said the company's chief executive, Rich Frank.

Food.com, a restaurant guide and takeout ordering site, also today saw its chief financial officer, Joan Varrone, leave the company, and its chief operating officer, John Laing, step down from his position, Frank said. Laing will remain a member of the company's board of directors.

Food.com is closing its Seattle office and is consolidating its operations at its San Francisco headquarters.

In recent months, Food.com has been searching for a new company strategy and has hired consultants to help it develop a new and profitable business. A new strategy has been formed, Frank said, and part of that means cutting the "unprofitable parts of the business."

"We did a lot of analysis, and we've decided to build up the areas of our business that are profitable," Frank said. The new business will focus on building and hosting Web sites for restaurants, he said.

The cuts come at a time when the glut of online food retailers is beginning to trim down. In June, online grocer Webvan gobbled up rival HomeGrocer.com in an acquisition deal. Brick-and-mortar supermarket chain Safeway bought Dallas-based Web grocer GroceryWorks in April.

Most of the positions eliminated at Food.com were in the company's sales force. Other areas affected were the company's engineering and customer service departments.

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