Cision lays off 'less than 5%' in North America

CHICAGO: Cision, the international media monitoring and solutions company, recently laid off "less than 5%" of its North American workforce, according to Vanessa Bugasch, SVP of marketing and client services. One of those let go was Stephen Debruyn, VP of marketing for Cision North America.

CHICAGO: Cision, the international media monitoring and solutions company, recently laid off "less than 5%" of its North American workforce, according to Vanessa Bugasch, SVP of marketing and client services. One of those let go was Stephen Debruyn, VP of marketing for Cision North America. Andree Beckham, director of marketing, will handle Debruyn's responsibilities.

"We're looking to control costs and expenses right now given the recession," said Bugasch. "We see the importance of PR or marketing even in a recession so there are no plans to reduce [those efforts]."

The news follows on the heels of the company's year-end financials released Wednesday, February 11. Cision reported operating revenues of about $213 million for 2008, compared to about $224 million in 2007. Organic growth dropped 3%.

Debruyn expressed surprise at his being laid off, which happened last Tuesday.

"It's kind of strange because the marketing department had been very successful," he said. "Historically, downsizing has never really included senior level people."

Hans Gieskes was appointed Cision president and CEO in October 2008 amid a decline in financial results, particularly in the company's European operations, and Debruyn suggested the he “saw it necessary to start cutting costs across the board, not just in Europe but in North America.”

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