Sunday, August 26th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk lays off 500 staff

Our future lies online: Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, interviewed by TechCrunch’s Andrew Keen in April. Despite having laid off 500 staff, the company expects to recruit a similar number in cloud and mobile services this year.

Autodesk has laid off 500 staff, including a number of 3D developers and product managers.

On Thursday, the company announced revenues of $569 million for the financial quarter just elapsed – up 4% on the equivalent quarter for the previous year, but down on a prior projection of 10%.

In the same quarters, net income fell 9.3%, from $71.2 million to $64.6 million.

Hit by the Euro zone crisis
The only territory to report a decline in revenue over the period was Europe, the Middle East and Africa – and even there, revenue would have increased by 1% had exchange rates remained steady.

“Our own execution challenges, combined with an uneven global economy, resulted in disappointing revenue results for the quarter,” said Autodesk president and CEO Carl Bass.

Moving into cloud and online services
Despite the job cuts, Autodesk will continue to recruit actively for its new online services. Bloomberg reports that the company intends to hire roughly as many staff as it has just laid off as it pushes into cloud computing.

“This restructuring is squarely focused on our continued shift [towards] cloud and mobile computing,” said Bass. “It’s clear to us that design and engineering software will move to cloud and mobile platforms.”

Where next for Media & Entertainment?
A move to cloud-based services poses particular challenges for Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment division.

While the company has already launched its cloud-based Autodesk 360 design and visualisation and PLM360 lifecycle management platforms, the volume of data generated by VFX and games projects makes it harder to envisage an equivalent for M&E, with major studios investing instead in their own internal infrastructures.

Media & Entertainment was the only one of Autodesk’s business segments to report a decline in revenue, down 10% compared to the second quarter last year, to $49 million.

Mashable reports that last week’s layoffs include “a number of 3D developers and several product managers”, although it isn’t clear if that simply represents the company-wide changes. More news if we get it.

Read Autodesk’s full financial statement