Brodeur Lays Off 60 in Wake of IBM Restructuring
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Brodeur Lays Off 60 in Wake of IBM Restructuring

Brodeur Worldwide was happy to be part of the custom-designed Omnicom team that picked up a piece of the IBM business, but will derive less income from IBM than it did before the restructuring. As a result, it will lay off 60 U.S. employees.

Paul Holmes

BOSTON, September 10—Brodeur Worldwide was very happy to be part of the custom-designed Omnicom team—called One Blue—that picked up a significant piece of the consolidated IBM business in early August, but the firm will clearly derive less income from IBM than it did before the restructuring. As a result, it will lay off 60 U.S. employees—about 9 percent of its worldwide workforce.
 
The announcement comes just one week after Interpublic’s TSI Communications—a unit of Golin/Harris International—said it was laying off more than 60 because of the loss of the IBM business. For Brodeur, this was the second round of layoffs this year. The firm let 20 people go in February.
 
According to Brodeur Worldwide chief executive Andrea Carney, the latest layoffs were necessary for the firm “to further adapt to current market conditions in technology and properly align the company after IBM’s recent PR agency consolidation.
 
“While Brodeur is honored to be part of Omnicom’s One Blue team, our overall revenue from IBM is now less. Anticipating this possibility, we proactively built an aggressive business development machine that’s steadily winning business from a richer mix of clients.  We have a solid pipeline and are far less reliant on any one major account going forward.  We will emerge from this experience a stronger, tougher agency.”
 
Brodeur had worked on the IBM account for 13 years, handling the company’s personal computer and global services business. As part of One Blue, which includes sister PR agency Ketchum, it will work on customer-focused communications. That means reaching out to CEOs and CFOs as well as CIOs, many of whom are already familiar with IBM’s messages.
 
Meanwhile, Carney says that Brodeur has seen strong organic client growth this year. In addition to continuing to represent technology leaders such as Philips Electronics and LSI Logic, the company has added consumer companies that see technology as a source of competitive advantage, including MasterCard International and Fidelity Investments, and expanded its medical technology practice. Brodeur is the PR agency behind Abiomed, the company that developed the totally implantable replacement heart system, one of the big health technology stories of the year.
 
After the latest cuts, Brodeur has about 275 people in the U.S. and 450 in its overseas offices.
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