Plural Friday made its third round of lay-offs since the beginning of the year.
The troubled e-services firm closed offices in Atlanta, Minneapolis and San Francisco and let go about 80 people, according to chief executive Neil Isford. Approximately 250 remain company wide.
Plural also laid off approximately 80 people in May and another 90 in January.
Although they are "awful," layoffs "are not a surprise anymore," Isford observes. "There is no easy way to do this. But you try to be open and honest with people.
"We have not cut anybody's pay, nor [imposed] mandatory vacations" on Plural staffers, Isford says.
One former employee let go today wonders how Plural's ongoing work with clients like Credit Suisse First Boston and Merrill Lynch will be delivered.
Management "has cut the producers that do the work so [much] that they will not be able to get other projects," says the source, who requested anonymity. "They simply don't have the people to do the work."
Isford says he is banking on the release of Microsoft's Windows XP and rollout of .Net services to improve Plural's prospects. He also notes that Plural is not alone.
"Any professional services place [in the industry] is going through the same darn thing," he says.
Plural is cutting joint development deals with two other solution providers--Terrace in Oakland, Calif., and Atlanta's IntelliNet--in order to keep developing business in regions where Plural no longer has its own office, Isford says.
Isford continues to predict that the company will show a profit in the fourth quarter.
"We will get there," the CEO says.