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Angie's List cans 38 workers in broad shakeup

November 8, 2007

A sweeping internal assessment at Angie's List has resulted in 38 of the company's 382 employees being shown the door in the past few days.

Most of the workers given pink slips were in sales, although others were in operations, marketing and other areas, said spokeswoman Cheryl Reed.

Based at 1030 E. Washington St. on the east side, Angie's List is an online rating service for consumers of contractors and other businesses.

Sparking the assessment was a lag in performance within the sales department, Reed said. Angie's List had hired furiously to maintain its growth streak and simultaneously shifted to paying sales representatives salary-plus-commission rather than primarily commission.

However, sales didn't materialize as quickly as the company hoped. Late this summer, the company switched back to a commission-based pay structure, and the sales representatives who were not able to make their numbers lost their jobs.

"You can't just throw bodies at sales," Reed said. "We're pretty clear here about reaching goals, hitting them. We want to take care of our members and make sure they get a good service."

In the course of their duties, the sales representatives called companies who achieved A or B ratings and asked them to buy coupon positions online and on the back of a magazine Angie's List offers in the 124 markets in which it operates.

Examining the sales thrust led to an overall assessment of the company that resulted in the broader changes, Reed said.

Angie's List had 124 employees in October 2005 and quickly swelled to 382 last month prior to the cutbacks.

Despite the recent cutback, the headcount at Angie's List is 30-percent higher than last year, and the company plans to double in size next year, Reed said.

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