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Augsburg Fortress reorganizes, cuts staff

Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, reorganized and began to lay off 45 employees in July. Staff reductions represent a $2.5 million cut in payroll expenses, following the company's $2.3 million net loss for the first quarter of 2001. In 2000, Augsburg Fortress had a net loss of $3 million.

Augsburg Fortress CEO Marvin Roloff called the staff reductions a "painful experience but a necessary step." He cited declining sales and increased operating costs as motivating factors for the reorganization.

Roloff said a severance and job placement package would be offered to departing employees. Prior to the cuts, the publisher had 225 employees in Minneapolis and 126 others in the United States and Canada.

Other reorganization changes include reconfiguring the former ELCA and ecumenical strategic business units into four market resource groups of education, worship and music, congregational resources and ecclesiastical arts. The reconfiguration will "reduce administrative layers, eliminate overlaps and simplify reporting lines," Roloff said. "We're very hopeful that we can regain part of the market we've lost and come out a much stronger publishing house for the church."


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