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Drkoop.com to close office, cut 45 jobs

The online health site will close its Austin, Texas, headquarters and lay off 45 employees to cut costs.

    Drkoop.com said Tuesday it will close its Austin, Texas, headquarters and lay off 45 employees.

    Health content sites in trouble
    The layoffs at the online health site mark continued attempts by the company's management to turn a profit. Nearly one-third of the company, or 22 full-time workers and 20 part-time workers, were laid off in August, shortly after the company named former Excite@Home executive Richard Rosenblatt as its new chief executive.

    The company also announced in August that it had received more than $20 million in equity financing.

    Tuesday's restructuring moves, along with the previous operational consolidations, are expected to cut the company's total cash expenses to less than $1 million per month, down from $8 million per month in March 2000, the company said in a news release.

    The company said it plans to begin exploring new business opportunities not limited to the Internet, including partnering with brick-and-mortar businesses. It will turn its Santa Monica, Calif., offices into its corporate headquarters.

    In the past year, Drkoop has seen its stock plunge to 40 cents per share from a 52-week high of $17.12. The stock ended the regular session Tuesday up 9 cents, or more than 23 percent, to 50 cents.

    The company is expected to have a special meeting of investors Jan. 25 to vote on whether the company should implement a 10-to-1 reverse stock split. A split could help boost the company's low share price and help it avoid removal from the Nasdaq Stock Market. According to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Drkoop intends to plead its case to stay on the Nasdaq at a hearing before that stock market.