Oversee Cuts 18 Percent

Los Angeles-based is not immune to the stormy economy, and told socalTECH Thursday that is cutting 18 percent of the firm's workforce, or a total of 38 people, including some managers. The firm said it made the moves, because it expects a "very difficult economic environment" in 2009. Jeff Kupietzky, the firm's President, said that the firm will be focusing in on its domain name monetization, domain name aftermarket, registrar, and travel businesses. Kupietzky discussed the moves with us, saying that the firm is already seeing some drop in advertising CPMs, and the firm decided to "get to the right size" so they could compete effectively during the coming year.

"We are seeing that it's going to be a very challenging world," Kupietsky said, saying that the firm decided to focus on the basic businesses which the company is able to lead in, is already leading in, or has the potential to lead in--which were its core monetization, and parking businesses, aftermarket business, registrar business, and travel. However, despite the cuts, Kupietzy said the firm is going forward with its DomainFest Global conference later this month, the firm's big conference focused on the domain name business. He admitted the timing was not great, but said the firm is expecting a very, very large crowd--much bigger than last year--even in the tough times, saying that "it's the largest gathering of anybody in the domain business." The conference's keynote will be with Apple co-founder Steve Woznik; the firm had John Batelle last year, and TechCrunch's Michael Arrington keynote two years ago.