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More on the Merger, Staff Reductions at The Dialog Corporation
by
Posted On December 8, 1997
[Editor's Note: As we reported in Paula Hane's 11/24/97 NewsBreak, the MAID/KRI deal is done. The Dialog Corporation now exists, and, in fact, is preparing to make a splash at the Online Information 97 meeting December 9-11 in London, where CEO Dan Wagner will deliver the opening address. Paula recorded some initial information and reactions to the merger and staff cuts in her report. Now, 2 weeks later, Barbara Quint offers some additional news and insights.]

December 8, 1997—Around 160 of the more than 300 staff cuts announced November 21 by The Dialog Corporation fell on the former KRI offices in Mountain View and Palo Alto, California. Three offices in London were consolidated into two. The DataStar headquarters office in Bern, Switzerland, shut down. So did KR SourceOne in New York. Customers for the document delivery service were referred to CARL in Colorado, which will try to handle requests as best they can on a case-by-case basis, though they do not carry much of the holdings common to SourceOne. CARL and UnCover remain up for sale, as The Dialog Corporation's CEO Dan Wagner indicated before the purchase went through.

One fell swoop seems the phrase that best describes the approach to announcing the cuts. The same day they got their marching orders, the new ex-employees found their phone and e-mail boxes on referral to the operator. "Elvis has left the building" was the order of the day. (If you're interested in knowing what happened to whom, Michael McCulley has posted a list of ex-KRI-ers on a Web site at http://www.best.com/~mcculley/dialog.html.)

Although, like any major transition, the situation at the new Dialog Corp. has shown considerable confusion during the initial transformation, a spokesperson for the company, Sharyn Fitzpatrick, said that above all, they "want to make sure that customers know that Dialog cares about the customer and will do its best to see that customers get what they need. The new management has a commitment to the information professional market and lots of respect for the importance of the info pro market." For now, they hope that people will realize it will "take time. Give us some space. We are merging people, resources, products, processes. We want to make sure we make the right decisions. It will take time, but we're definitely doing what we're doing with the customer in mind."


Barbara Quint was senior editor of Online Searcher, co-editor of The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, and a columnist for Information Today.


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