Vulcan Cuts 50 Jobs, 9 Percent of Workforce, In Response to Downturn

1/15/09Follow @xconomy

Even Paul Allen isn’t immune to the global economic downturn. Vulcan Inc., the company that oversees the Microsoft co-founder’s business and charitable interests, said today it is eliminating about 50 jobs.

Vulcan’s cuts affect about 9 percent of its workforce, leaving it with a staff of about 600 people, says spokesman David Postman. He declined to say specifically which departments are shrinking, although the layoffs are confined to Vulcan Inc., he says. The organization has departments that manage Allen’s investment portfolio, high-tech projects like the ‘Digital Aristotle,’ and administrative functions like legal and human resources.

“We are not immune to the world economic situation. All the same things you read about in the Puget Sound area and nationally that are causing layoffs affect us too,” Postman says. Allen ranks No. 41 on Forbes list of global billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $16 billion in 2008.

Vulcan’s real estate holdings in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, where it is building a new headquarters for Amazon.com, are unaffected by the cutbacks, Postman says. Likewise, Vulcan’s affiliated organizations like the Seattle Seahawks, Allen Institute for Brain Science, and Experience Music Project aren’t included in the cutbacks at Vulcan, Postman says. The news was first reported by John Cook at TechFlash.

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