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Apple's HomePod rival Sonos has fired 96 people before its expected IPO



Wireless loudspeaker maker Sonos announced Thursday plans to cut 96 employees worldwide to increase profitability, which is just ahead of an expected multi-billion dollar IPO.

  Sonos One

As a result of the eliminations, Sonos' approximately 1

,500 employees shrank by around six percent and affected several departments in the company reports Bloomberg .

"Like any healthy company, we sometimes make adjustments to the size and structure of our teams to stay flexible and adapt resources to market opportunities," Sonos said in a prepared statement. "Sonos is growing and is profitable."

Details of the job cuts or schedule of the planned reorganization were not made available to the press.

The word of eliminations comes on the eve of an anticipated IPO, which according to The Wall Street Journal might appear as early as June or July.

In April, it was reported that the company had made a confidential IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission and held an analyst meeting in its offices in Santa Barbara, California. Citing individuals who are familiar with the matter, WSJ said Sonos targets a market value of $ 2.5 billion to $ 3 billion, a sum that will result in a capital injection of several hundred Million dollars.

Sonos, a market leader in connected home loudspeakers, faces increasing competition from smart speaker manufacturers such as Amazon, Google and most recently Apple. When former CEO and company founder John MacFarlane resigned early last year, he admitted he was avoiding the threat of emerging technology to his company.

Especially about Amazon's Echo, which said MacFarlane's leading role rejected the benefits of the device. Unlike Sono's traditional app-based streaming settings, intelligent speakers provide native audio playback controlled by a user's voice.

"I fell into this trap where I have been watching speech recognition for years," he said at the time. "I tried Echo in the beginning and wrote it off, I had too many distractions at that time, I did not play on the level that I should have played with all honesty."

Sonos released its first smart speaker, the Sonos One, in December with support for Amazon's Alexa Voice Assistant. With premium internals – and priced at $ 199 – the speaker is often compared to Apple's HomePod, a $ 349 device that features advanced audio technology and Siri smarts.

It seems that Sonos' efforts to break into space still need to be rewarded, as new statistics from market research firm Strategy Analytics show that the company did not end the first quarter as the top five smart phone supplier. As expected, Amazon topped the pack with 4 million echo units sold, followed by Google and Alibaba. Apple finished fourth with around 600,000 HomePods sold, which is a respectable performance, considering it was up for sale in February.

The job cuts announced today follow a wave of redundancies carried out two years ago. At the time, Sonos said it would focus on streaming music services and voice control systems.


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