Bowstreet cuts workforce

Facing the tough economic times that have plagued the computer industry, Bowstreet Software Inc. on Tuesday reduced its workforce by a reported 60 to 75 persons, a company source said Wednesday.

A Bowstreet official, Marketing Director John Caron, confirmed that there had been layoffs but would not comment on the number of employees affected. A source familiar with the company, however, placed the number at an estimated 60 to 75 employees. The company had about 150 employees prior to the reduction, the source said.

The company, which makes the Factory 5 Web services software environment, has been impacted by the economy, Caron said.

"I think it's slow for everybody," said Caron. Companies that will survive the tough economy will include large market leaders and smaller, nimble companies with cash on hand, he said.

"You've got to go under the assumption that the storm's longer than people think it is," Caron said in reference to the current situation.

In a prepared statement, the company said it is "taking a proactive stance of reducing its workforce, giving the company the ability to focus on its product and market development efforts while ensuring our long-term viability. The move is designed to allow us to focus our technology leadership and innovation on select markets while giving us time to ride out this storm."

Asked if Portsmouth, N.H.-based Bowstreet's predicament is indicative of a weak market reception for the concept of Web services, Caron initially responded, "It's really not something I'm comfortable commenting on at this point."

But he then added that Web services is in a transitional stage.

"I think it's really starting to come into its own," with a lot of companies talking about it, Caron said.

Caron said job cuts were made in every department. He would not comment on the privately held company's annual revenue numbers.

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