Ad tech company Rubicon Project is laying off 19% of its staff

Frank addante
Frank Addante, Rubicon Project CEO. Rubicon Project/YouTube

Ad tech company Rubicon Project announced it was laying off 125 people — around 19% of its total headcount — on Wednesday.

Rubicon Project said the reduction was the result of a “comprehensive realignment of the business,” which began in the second quarter of this year to focus on its “key growth areas.”

The company began merging its buyer (advertiser) and seller (publisher) sales organisation into one in the second quarter and has also been slimming its product and engineering divisions into one team.

Rubicon Project announced the layoffs as it reported third-quarter earnings. The company reported a 2% increase in revenue to $65.8 million in the three months to September 30, versus analysts’ expectations of $62.9 million.

Earnings-per-share (EPS) increased 200% year-on-year to $0.07, but was below the $0.09 analyst estimate.

Looking to the fourth quarter, the company said it would generate between $65 million to $75 million in revenue — surprisingly low for an ad tech company, which seasonally pull in most of their revenue in Q4.

In the release, Rubicon Project CEO Frank Addante said: “As expected, Q3 was a challenging quarter for both our industry and our business in particular and we still have work to do to deliver the revenue growth that we know our business is capable of generating. We remain confident that the strength of our premium technology platform, our global presence, and strong balance sheet uniquely position us to win in the market and we expect these strengths to propel our business to stronger long term growth in 2017.”

In August, a number of analysts downgraded Rubicon Project’s stock, with most blaming the company’s slow adoption of header bidding.

Rubicon Project executives will be speaking on an call with analysts at 1.30 p.m. PT.

More to follow …

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