Motricity Announces Layoffs, Plans to Sell PocketGear
Motricity, mobile content provider and the owner of the former PalmGear and current PocketGear software distribution sites, has announced a significant reduction in its workforce and a shift in corporate strategy. The company has also made public its intention to discontinue "non-profitable and non-core businesses" including the planned divestiture of Pocketgear.com.
In a statement the Durham, NC company said they expects to reduce their workforce by approximately 250 positions over the next nine months. They are also moving their headquarters to Bellevue, WA, which is where their most recent acquisition, InfoSpace Mobile, is based.
The planned sale of PocketGear comes less than five months after it combined and consolidated with the former leading Palm OS software site, PalmGear. PalmGear was acquired by Power By Hand Holdings in October 2002, which later became Motricity.
In December, Motricity announced the sale of another direct to consumer property, eReader.com, to Fictionwise. Motricity will also be divesting certain business relationships in the media and entertainment arena, though they do not elaborate on specifics.
These moves come after the company recently raised over $185 million in a round of funding led by Advanced Equities, Inc., Carl Icahn and New Enterprise Associates, Inc. The company used $135m of that to finance the acquisition of InfoSpace's Mobile Services Business.
These developments are the result of the consolidation of the two companies. Ryan Wuerch, the current CEO of Motricity, will remain the chairman and chief executive officer of the combined company. Steve Elfman, who had been executive vice president for the InfoSpace unit, will serve as Motricity's president and chief operating officer.