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Hibu Laying Off 184 in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (Corridor Business Journal) -- Hibu is laying off 184 employees at its Cedar Rapids operation as part of a major reorganization at the directory and online marketing provider.

In a statement from the company's Redding, England, headquarters, hibu cited the continuing decline in revenue from the company's directory publishing business.

"To protect the future of the digital business at a time of continuing decline in our directories' revenue we have today initiated a program of cost efficiencies and savings across the company," said a statement issued through hibu spokesman Andrew Spybey. "We have also announced the cancellation of certain business initiatives as hibu focuses its proposition into sustainable, high potential sectors."

Hibu did not offer many details, but said the reductions are focused primarily in non-sales functions across its operations. The company's largest U.S. operations are in Cedar Rapids and King of Prussia, Pa.

Much of the company's recent hiring activity as indicated by employment classifieds had been for teams that wrote and published marketing web sites for small businesses. At least some of them were among the affected.

In a WARN Act notice filed with Iowa Workforce Development, hibu characterized its action as a permanent mass layoff event impacting 184 nonunion employees. It said layoffs would begin on April 7 and continue for the next 60 days.

 Affected employees will receive at least 30 days of continuing pay and benefits, the WARN Act notice said. Hibu will also provide affected employees with outplacement assistance, Mr. Spybey said by e-mail.
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