Sophos may lay off up to 5 percent of staff

Security vendor Sophos plans to lay off up to 5 percent of its staff, the company said Thursday.

Engineering and product development staff will not be affected, with the 75 jobs to be cut all in sales and marketing, said spokesman Graham Cluley. The changes are intended to make those departments more efficient, and are not related to world economic conditions, he said.

Sophos will try to move affected employees into other positions within the company, he said. The company employs about 1,500 people worldwide, with around 600 in the U.K.

Sophos makes enterprise-level antivirus and antispam software and other security products for a variety of operating systems and platforms. It does not make a consumer product.

Sophos is a private company and reports its financial results once a year. In its last report, from March 2008, Sophos saw its billing revenue rise from US$167.3 million in 2007 to $213.9 million in 2008, a rise of 27.8 percent.

The company attributed the growth to investments in marketing, a stronger product line and more demand for software capable of several different security functions.

Sophos spent $20.9 million on sales in 2008, or about 12 percent of the company's revenue. That was up from $16.8 million in 2007.

Sophos joins other technology companies that are undertaking belt-tightening measures.

Symantec said in October it would reduce the cost of its workforce by 4.5 percent but did not detail how many people in its 17,800 or so workforce would lose their jobs. The company said it expected lower IT spending.

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