Leapnet Slashes 80 Jobs

Leapnet, a Chicago-based i-shop, has laid off 80 employees, or 13 percent of its payroll, in its second round of cuts since November, when 45 workers were dismissed.

All six branch locations are affected. Employees were notified Tuesday and Wednesday. A spokeswoman said dismissed employees will receive “enhanced” severance and help finding jobs.

Last month Leapnet said it hoped to be cash-flow positive by the second half of 2001. In a memo to employees, executives said that to meet that goal, “we need to take a serious look at our organization.”

“Today’s market has shifted to one in which more Internet-oriented work is being done in-house and outsource projects are being broken into smaller pieces,” said the executives, including Rob Figliulo, chairman and CEO. January and February, they said, made it “clear that our current number of employees and mix of skill sets do not match market demand.”

However, the shop recently closed deals with “four major globally recognized brands in retail, healthcare and consumer products,” the memo said. Known clients include Michelob, American Airlines and Wal-Mart.

Despite the layoffs, Leapnet will continue to hire senior technologists “because this is an area that is critical to building our business within the high-tech community,” the spokeswoman said.