Yellow cuts 20% of staff

Yellow Pages Group said today it will lay off 125 people, or around 20% of its staff.

Most of the cuts are from the company's sales team.

CEO Scott Pomeroy said the company was focussing more on online products and "will require less people in some areas."

The rationale echoes that recently offered by NZ Post's Auckland directory service Localist, which recently reduced the size of its management team and ased 28 sales staff to reapply for 16 roles.

Localist said it had moved beyond its start up phase, and had a new emphasis on digital products that required fewer sales staff.

In the Auckland market, competition between the two companies has been fierce as both have released suburb-specific websites and directories amid the lingering recession.

Yellow has yet to publicly file accounts for its 2011 financial year, but claims to be profitable following its $1.6 billion write-down in 2010 amid a deal that saw lending banks take control of the company, and its board.

The company recently became an authorised Google Ad Words reseller.

"Google owns the consumer," Mr Pomeroy told NBR - essaying the strength of Yellow's new partnership, and yet another issue facing it, and Localist.

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