Adobe shuts down July 4th week to ride out recession

By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service |  Business, Adobe Systems

Adobe Systems has shut down its North American offices for a week for the second time this year as part of cost-cutting measures, forcing employees to take paid time off during the days the company is closed.

An automated statement on Adobe's phone system confirmed that the company will be closed from Monday until Friday, July 3, and will resume normal business hours on Monday, July 6, after the nationally celebrated July 4 holiday in the U.S.

Adobe also shut down for a week earlier this year to help the company ride out the recession, and it plans to shut down for another week later this year in addition to its normal weekly closure between Christmas and New Year's Day in December, the company confirmed in a press statement.

"In each case, employees are asked to take the time as paid time off -- the net effect of which lowers the company's operating expense," Adobe said in a press statement.

Like competitors, Adobe has not been immune to the recession and has enacted a series of cost-cutting measures to ride it out. The company let go about 8 percent of its workforce in December and has frozen existing employee salaries as part of these efforts.

Some of Adobe's woes can be attributed to lackluster adoption of the latest version of its Creative Suite products, which are responsible for the bulk of its revenue. Sales in Adobe's second quarter, ended May 29, fell 21 percent, and the company posted its narrowest profit margin in more than three years.

Despite hitting tough times, the company has continued to invest steadily in updating its software for creating rich Internet applications (RIAs) and to make its Flash platform ubiquitous across the Web as it faces increased pressure from competitors like Microsoft.

The company also in the past month made its Acrobat.com worker collaboration and productivity services available to customers via new subscriptions, as well as released a preview of the next version of FlashBuilder, its main toolset for helping developers build RIAs. Adobe also rebranded the toolset to highlight the Flash brand; it was formerly called FlexBuilder.

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