Safeguard Scientifics lays off 15 employees amid 'change in strategy' - Technical.ly Philly

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Jan. 18, 2018 6:14 am

Safeguard Scientifics lays off 15 employees amid ‘change in strategy’

Citing “the best interest of our shareholders,” the Radnor company slashed half its staff in a cost-cutting move.
Safeguard Scientifics’  15,600-square-foot office in Radnor.

Safeguard Scientifics' 15,600-square-foot office in Radnor.

(Photo by Roberto Torres)

In a late Wednesday afternoon press release, Radnor-based venture capital firm Safeguard Scientifics announced a “change in strategy and operations,” which impacted company personnel.

In layman’s terms: the company laid off half its staff.

Fifteen out of 30 staffers were let go, a spokesperson told Technical.ly. The round of layoffs is part of a series of measures aimed at reducing Safeguard’s operating costs by up to $6 million a year. In 2017, those costs were around $16 million, excluding interest, depreciation and stock-based compensation, the publicly traded company said.

Calls and emails sent to Safeguard CEO Stephen Zarrilli and one other senior Safeguard execs were not immediately responded to Wednesday evening.

According to the press release, the new strategy will also preclude Safeguard from deploying capital into new partner companies, instead focusing on supporting existing portfolio companies and maximizing monetization opportunities “to enable distributions of net proceeds to shareholders.”

“As we evaluated the best path forward for Safeguard, we concluded that a focused set of actions to maximize the realization of value from our assets is in the best interest of our shareholders,” Zarrilli said in a prepared statement. “With this new strategy in place, we will immediately create a more streamlined organizational structure that will better position us to focus our resources on the highest-return opportunities while generating immediate cost savings. We also expect to realize additional savings over time as assets are monetized and resource needs are further decreased.”

Safeguard, founded in 1953 by investor Pete Musser, moved its operations to a 15,600-square-foot office in 2016. Per its website, the firm currently has a stake in 26 partner companies, including WebLinc, CloudMine and Clutch.

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