Sources say SPSS laid off 20 in Rochester

By Jeff Kiger

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

SPSS Inc., a Chicago-based software company, cut jobs at its Rochester facility this week as part of "a global staff reduction of nearly 10 percent."

The company wouldn’t discuss specific numbers, but several local sources estimated that about 20 people were laid off Monday.

SPSS had 120 employees at its Rochester location as of June, according to a company report. Worldwide, the company employs about 1,300 people.


"We did this to maintain the company in a weak economy," said company spokeswoman Janine Warell. "It was a very difficult decision to make; it truly was."

She described the reduction as a financially responsible, though unpleasant, way to prepare for what the company believes will be a difficult fourth quarter.

The Rochester operation previously was called ShowCase Corp., and SPSS acquired it in 2001. The facility creates software that analyzes statistical data.

SPSS announced the layoff in its third-quarter earnings report Tuesday. The report shows revenues were up 4 percent, to $74.9 million, compared with the same quarter in 2007, and operating income was up 3 percent to $12.8 million.

"Consistent with our demonstrated financial discipline, we have initiated actions to ensure continued solid operating margins and profitability, including a global staff reduction of nearly 10 percent to be completed during the fourth quarter," Chief Financial Officer Raymond Panza says in the report.

He estimated that the reductions, coupled with "cost management initiatives," will save the company about $10 million a year.

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