Internet

Techies.com sheds 120 employees

The popular industry portal for technology workers lays off 40 percent of its staff to accelerate its estimated profitability date.

A popular industry portal for technology workers laid off 40 percent of its staff to accelerate its estimated profitability date.

Minneapolis-based Techies.com on Thursday cut 120 workers, including employees who were working on a project to create a second Internet portal for the finance industry--a plan the company scrapped as investors demanded quick profits.

The Techies.com layoffs follow a blizzard of pink slips at e-commerce companies throughout the United States.

In many cases, public companies are slashing jobs in order to prove to investors that the business models can produce profits--despite the stock market drubbing that has shrunk valuations of many e-commerce companies by 90 percent or more. Privately held Internet companies such as Techies.com also are slashing jobs in order to please venture capitalists, institutional investors and others who hope to take the companies public if the markets rebound.

Techies.com, which provides career advice and job postings for more than 570,000 registered information technology workers around the world, originally hoped to become profitable in the third quarter of 2002. But investors recently began calling for the company to accelerate the process, looking to make the third quarter of 2001 the break-even point. The company hopes to complete one more round of financing before braving the stock market with an initial public offering.

"When the door slammed down on revenue, it had to be in 2001," said Dan Frawley, CEO and president of Techies.com, said of the profitability date. "Lopping off a year means you have to lop off people, no other way around it."

CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, is an investor in Techies.com.