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AdBrite CEO: 'Layoffs are not a statement about performance'

AdBrite, one of the Web's largest ad networks, announced that it has laid off 40 percent of its staff. Ironic, considering its history.

AdBrite, the "Internet's Ad Marketplace," has laid off 40 percent of its workforce in an effort to be profitable. Two executives, its vice president of marketing, Paul Levine, and its vice president of finance, Bob Feller, were among those laid off.

"The layoffs are not a statement about performance, but about AdBrite controlling its own destiny and getting profitable immediately," AdBrite CEO Iggy Fanlo said in an interview. "And understanding the multi-decade phenomenon that we've found ourselves in economically, we felt there weren't other options."

"When an economic environment isn't strong, it's more prudent to tailor investment back, make choices more wisely, and self-fund," he said.

AdBrite, which won't need venture funding thanks to the layoffs, believes that profitability was just the first step in moving forward in an environment that's not necessarily conducive to high advertising revenue. According to Fanlo, AdBrite will focus all of its efforts going forward on a performance-based CPM model instead of its previous brand-based service. Fanlo claims that by switching his company to a performance-based model, it can enjoy a more highly-recurring revenue stream that should keep it profitable.

The company's history makes the news of its layoffs somewhat ironic. In 2003, AdBrite spun off from F***, which covered the layoffs and closings of start-ups during the Web bubble burst of 2000. F***edCompany's founder, Philip Kaplan, figured that there was more of an opportunity to grow by offering an automated advertising platform and decided to forgo his practice of discussing failed start-ups in minute detail and start AdBrite instead.

AdBrite currently serves 1.3 billion ad impressions each day on over 70,000 Web sites.

Originally reported on TechCrunch