Gevity announces major cutbacks

MANATEE — Gevity, a professional employer organization based in Lakewood Ranch, has announced it is reducing 10 percent of its staff as well as other changes that will translate into a $19 million operating cutback for 2009.

Officials of the company, which has suffered some financial setbacks in the past year, said the actions will result in a restructuring charge of $2.7 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Lavington said “management remains vigilant in focusing its attention on returning Gevity to more consistent levels of profitability. We believe the initiatives announced today will ensure our cost structure reflects current economic circumstances and will further strengthen our future financial position.”

Gevity reported a net income loss of $1.6 million for the first quarter of 2008 as it continued its attempted to recover from a change in business direction that hurt its bottom line.

The company last year was scaling back clients enrolled in its Gevity Edge Select product, a business line that was a departure from its core role as a professional employer organization.

In July, 2008 Gevity was in strategic discussions with General Atlantic, a private equity firm that had 9.5 percent in Gevity stock.