Spark Networks Inc., the company behind special-interest matchmaking sites such as ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com, has seen more of its customers fall for competing dating services.
As a result, the West Los Angeles network announced Tuesday that it has cut its workforce as well as substantially completed an expense reduction initiative. The cuts are expected to save the company $4.5 million to $5 million a year.
The company did not disclose how many jobs were cut. Spark earlier reported that it had 201 full-time equivalent employees as of Dec. 31.
It did not respond to requests for comment.
Also, the company said David Hughes, previously chief executive at digital marketing firm The Search Agency in West Los Angeles, has resigned as a director after joining Spark Networks’ board just six months earlier. Jonathan R. Mather, a former Netgear chief financial officer, will replace him on the board and has assumed the role of chair of the company’s audit committee.
Hughes’ departure comes two months after a very public ousting of four of Spark’s six directors, including Chief Executive Greg Liberman. Greenbrae investment firm Osmium Partners, which holds a 14 percent stake in the company, led the charge to find new directors to help the fledgling business.
Spark Networks – JDate aims at Jewish customers and Christian Mingle courts Christians – has struggled to turn its fortune around as new competitors, such as mobile dating apps Tinder and OKCupid, have chipped away at its business. The company’s revenue dropped 10 percent in the second quarter to $15.8 million. The firm has reported a total of $29 million in net losses over the past three years.
“Much has been accomplished over the last 30 days to refocus the business on its core properties and to drive operational efficiencies,” Executive Chairman Michael McConnell said in a statement. “Moving forward, I believe the opportunity to profitably grow our business is significant and we are prepared to execute on strategic growth initiatives that meet our return on capital hurdles.”
Shares of Spark Networks were down 8 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $4.95 a share Tuesday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.
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