Updated: Athenahealth cutting jobs in Atlanta, elsewhere

Updated Oct 25, 2017
Ponce City Market, the popular tech hub and mixed-use development, occupies the former Sears warehouse east of downtown Atlanta. The complex is home to tech firms such as Athenahealth, trendy shops, restaurants and apartments. (Jenni Girtman / Atlanta Event Photography

Athenahealth, the Massachusetts-based electronic medical records company with a substantial operation in metro Atlanta, said Thursday it plans to cut its workforce by 9 percent as part of a cost cutting plan.

A notice posted with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Workforce Division said the cuts in the Atlanta area would total 61.

Before last week, Athenahealth had been in growth mode in the Atlanta area. In January, the company announced plans to grow its headcount at the trendy tech hub Ponce City Market to about 1,000 from more than 600.

A spokeswoman for the company declined to say how many jobs in Atlanta might be cut, but said “all geographies are impacted to varying extents, with most significant changes happening across sales, marketing, general and administrative functions, and some client-facing teams.”

Athenahealth reported it had about 5,300 employees at the end of 2016, and 9 percent of the headcount at that time would equal about 475 people. The Boston Business Journal reported a number of employees were led out of the company’s headquarters in Watertown, Mass.

The company said in a news release Thursday it would expand a cost-cutting plan announced in August to create $100 million to $115 million in savings. Among the planned cuts, the company said it would streamline its organizational structure and marketing program and close offices in San Francisco and Princeton, N.J.

“While we plan to reinvest a portion of the $100 million to $115 million of savings to drive innovation and fund our highest priority initiatives, we expect the majority of the savings to flow to the bottom line and drive margin improvement, consistent with our commitment to sustainable profitable growth and value creation,” the company said in an earnings release.

On Thursday, the Athenathealth said revenue grew in the third quarter by 10 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Net income declined by 6.5 percent to $13 million.

The company said it forecasts weaker adoption of its electronic records products and also noted some business disruption from hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

In 2013, the Massachusetts-based company announced plans to move the bulk of its operations from Alpharetta to the new Ponce City Market development, becoming the first major firm to base itself there. At the time, Athenahealth said it would shift about 140 existing metro Atlanta workers in-town and add more than 500 new employees.

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