NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Netscape Communications Corp., which is in the midst of a bruising battle with arch-rival Microsoft Corp., could cut as many as 400 jobs from its payroll as part of a broad restructuring plan.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based software firm expects to finalize its plans on Jan. 27, but a spokeswoman for Netscape told CNNfn as many as 400 contract and full-time employees -- representing 12.5 percent of its worldwide staff -- could receive pink slips. Netscape employs about 3,200 workers, including 2,600 full-time staffers.
News of the layoffs follows Netscape's stunning announcement earlier this month that the company would post a fourth-quarter loss of $85 million to $89 million, or 15 cents to 19 cents a share. Wall Street, which had grown accustomed to positive surprises from Netscape, had been expecting the company to report a profit of 14 cents.
Netscape (NSCP) exploded onto the market in 1995 as the premier web browser supplier. However, in recent months, the company has faced a relentless assault from Microsoft [MSFT}, which has wrestled some of the browser business away by offering its Internet Explorer browser for free.