Imeem jumping on the layoff bandwagon

A 25 percent cut at the social-music site, rumored to be hunting for a buyer, affects staffers in "finance, marketing, communications, product, technical operations."

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy

An executive from social-music site Imeem told CNET News just days ago that the company would not be going through a round of layoffs.

Well, not quite.

Imeem's vice president of marketing, Matt Graves, said the question was actually "whether we had done layoffs, not whether we were going to," and that he answered accordingly. Sneaky! He proceeded to confirm a report from PaidContent that a quarter of the company has been laid off.

"There's not as much money floating around the market, and we had to cut our costs to accommodate," Graves said. He added that the layoffs are companywide--"finance, marketing, communications, product, technical operations"--clarifying the PaidContent assertion that the layoffs had been primarily "on the technical back-end side."

He would not comment on the other half of PaidContent's report--that Imeem is planning to shop itself to prospective buyers. PaidContent's Rafat Ali added that Imeem's projected valuation is more than $200 million, a figure that many media and technology companies might not be willing to fork over at this point.

Imeem has taken venture funding from Sequoia Capital, a firm that has amid financial panic. Another Sequoia-backed company, Jive Software, cut a third of its employees within days of the now-famous letter from the venture firm to its portfolio CEOs.

This post was updated at 12:23 p.m. PDT with comment from Imeem.