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Layoff Watch ’11: PwC Discontinuing Global Best Practices Unit

Last week we were tipped about layoffs that were communicated to PwC's Global Best Practices ("GBP") unit on January 13th. The GBP was purchased from Andersen back in the early Aughts and became a part of PwC's Knowledge Services Organization which was developed as a part of Internal Firm Services. Global Best Practices, as the name indicates, developed "best practices" that were either for sale to third parties or was used by PwC professionals to share with their clients. Our source, a former Knowledge Services Organization employee gave us the initial scoop:

[I]t's somewhere between 27 and 42 people, depending on how you do the math – there are some contractors. Most of the staff is based in Tampa, as part of the KSO. They have a month, then a package. Some are still in Chicago, where the GBP staff used to be based – the moved them all to Tampa about five years ago when PwC started up the whole Knowledge Services Organization plan. Subscriptions to the site are way down and apparently the cost-benefit analysis didn't justify keeping the employees, even though many of them had been around for many years.

We checked with a source within PwC who clarified/solidified some of the tip: simply put, the GBP product is being discontinued and it will affect 24 total jobs, sixteen in Tampa and eight in Chicago. As our original tipster mentioned, there are some outside contractors that aren't included in those numbers. The separation date for those affected is February 25th and employees are being paid through the 28th. From there, a severance will be provided, depending on the individual's position and tenure with the firm. All employees that are affected are being encouraged to apply for other jobs inside the firm. This is second instance of layoffs by PwC in the Tampa area, following the 470 cuts announced last July. Many of those layoffs – 280 to be exact – were effective December 31st. We'll keep you updated with any further details.

More Layoff Watch: Layoff Watch ‘11: KPMG Cuts IT Support Staff