PN's Orange County staff latest to feel hi-tech pinch

ORANGE COUNTY, CA: Porter Novelli's convergence practice has laid

off about half of its staff in one Southern California office and plans

to close another satellite office in Arizona.

Staff at the Orange County office that once housed many hi-tech

start-ups, will be reduced from a high of about 15 to just five,

according to Steve Jursa, PN senior partner and convergence group global

practice leader.

The layoffs will take effect at the end of the month.

The remaining staff may eventually combine with other PN offices in the

area, according to VP Lance Allega, who works out of the Orange County

office. PN has convergence group practices in both San Diego and LA, as

well as a public affairs office in Irvine, CA (NCG/PN).

A five-person office in Scottsdale, AZ will also close at year's


Kris Brown, the head of that division, has already left PN. Jursa says

the layoffs are the result of the hi-tech downturn.

Despite the cuts, Jursa said the outlook for the convergence group is

one of "guarded optimism." He adds that the practice is currently hiring

in both Silicon Valley and New York, and recently won a new

videoconference client.

With the layoffs, PN's convergence group has been trimmed to about 400

staffers in 12 offices across the US. During the internet boom, that

number was about 475.

PN's LA office will now take over as the hub for hi-tech accounts in the


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