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BigBook paring down

BigBook, an online directory, cuts roughly ten percent of its workforce and sees several executives leaving the company.

BigBook, an online resource and directory service, earlier this week cut roughly ten percent of its workforce and had several executives announce plans to leave the company.

BigBook, which employs less than 70 people, laid off ten people as the privately held company "leverages its strategic partners and business models," said Steve Kessel, vice president of marketing.

Although he declined to name the positions, sources have said they include engineers, a customer service manager, and the chief technology officer, John Plocher.

Meanwhile, the company's chief financial officer, Marco DeMiroz, will be leaving next week. He had previously announced plans last month that he would join the venture capital community and will be replaced by Julie VanBourg. In addition, marketing manager Rob Erlichman announced earlier this year that he would be leaving.

"These layoffs [and departures] are not a sign of a downturn in our business," Kessel said. He added that with any young company it is common to see executives coming and going.

"We are now well-financed and going forward with good distribution channels."

The company announced earlier this month that it received $7.85 million in its third round of financing from American Business Information (ABI), Korea Information & Communications, venture capital investors Altos Ventures, Brinson Partners, and New Enterprise Associates, and investment banker Hambrecht & Quist.

Kessel said that by leveraging its strategic partners, such as its relationship with ABI, cut down the need for some of its workforce.

"They'll market our BigBook Web sites, so we don't need a 1,000-person sales force," Kessel said. "We're focusing on technology and great consumer products, and it'll be up to ABI to distribute the products."