RSA axes 200 jobs in major restructure

Two weeks after announcing a quarterly loss of nearly $14m (£10m), RSA Security has announced plans to reorganise the company...

Two weeks after announcing a quarterly loss of nearly $14m (£10m), RSA Security has announced plans to reorganise the company along three product lines and cut 200 employees, representing 17% of its workforce.

The company's business will be divided into authentication products, developer solutions/encryption and Web access management. Sales, marketing and administrative groups will continue to serve all three products lines, although additional sales staff will be added for each line by reorganising the sales division. The changes, which the company expects to implement this week, will save money and simplify the company's offerings, RSA said.

The reorganisation and job cuts will result in a charge of between $8m-$10m this quarter, the company said.

The cuts will come primarily from engineering and sales since the majority of the company's employees work in those areas, Arthur Coviello, president and chief executive of RSA said. Cuts will also be made from administrative, operational and customer support areas.

The authentication products line will be headed by senior vice-president Bill McQuaide and will include RSA's SecurID and Keon product lines. This division will work to expand those lines and the types of authentication products that they support, including smart cards and digital certificates, RSA said.

The developer solutions/encryption line will be overseen by vice-president Victor Chang and will house the BSafe product line. The division will work to move that line toward secure application components and embedded security products.

The Web access management group will be led by senior vice-president Joe Uniejewski and will look to expand the single sign-on and authorisation options offered in the ClearTrust product line, the company said.

The changes are being made "to get focus on the product areas we're going to be most successful selling in going forward," Coviello said. Web-focused products will take precedence here, as the company expects that Web services and Web-enabled applications will boom in the future, he said.

Along with cutting staff, RSA will also stop development and sales of the client-server and custom agent components of the Keon product line. Support for those products will be continued though nearly all the engineers working on those products will be made redundant.

Coviello expects the changes will reap positive benefits for RSA during the rest of the year.

"We're optimistic that by [the fourth quarter] and into next year we'll have a great resurgence," he said.

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