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
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
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