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Layoffs pending after Macromedia deal

Staff left out in the cold

Adobe announced today that it will reduce part of its workforce following its acquisition of Macromedia, while other employees may be offered relocation packages.

Pierre Van Beneden, vice-president for EMEA at Adobe, said layoffs will occur in areas where there is duplication. Other workers in Europe – for example, some in the UK – may be offered jobs in Nordic regions or Eastern Europe to bolster product offerings there, he said.

Adobe may also hire new talent within Europe, Beneden said.

The cuts will be formally announced on 15 December during the company's fourth-quarter fiscal earnings. As of March 2005, Macromedia had 1,445 employees worldwide, with 1,151 of those workers in the US.

"When you speak about reductions in force, I want to say that we share the pain between Adobe and Macromedia," Beneden said in an interview with the IDG News Service.

Adobe completed its $3.4bn (about £2bn) acquisition of Macromedia on Saturday, a deal first announced in April. Macromedia investors will receive 1.38 shares of Adobe common stock for each of their shares, the company said.

Bruce Chizen, CEO, and Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, will remain at the helm of Adobe. Stephen Elop, former president and CEO, will become Adobe's president of worldwide field operations.

With the acquisition, Adobe adds Macromedia's popular Flash products, used to view animation and video. Adobe's own portfolio includes the widely used portable document format (PDF) and the company's Acrobat reader.

Adobe, which is based in San Jose, California, said it will begin integrating the two companies' operations, networks and customer care organisations this week.

Adobe will go from 30 to about 70 products, and employees will undergo internal training, Beneden said. Macromedia's logo will no longer appear on products.


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