SAS eliminates more positions this week as part of its 2023 staff reduction plan

This summer, the prominent Cary analytics firm SAS Institute announced plans to reduce its workforce by around 1% before the end of the year. Following a number of job cuts in July, the software company eliminated more positions this week.

Sources familiar with the reductions said cuts were concentrated in the company’s professional services division, known as PSD, which helps educate customers on how to most effectively use SAS software.

SAS declined to add new perspective on this week’s cuts or share how many positions were affected.

“Please refer to the statement we shared with you previously,” company spokesperson Shannon Heath said in an email. “We addressed our plans in that message.”

In the previous email, sent on July 14, Heath wrote, “Evolving our organizational structure and aligning the right talent to our core focus areas is always a priority for SAS. We explained earlier this year that as part of our normal business processes, we have been slowly shifting some divisional structures to better align with our corporate priorities.”

As of last September, SAS had around 12,000 employees globally.

Employees whose positions were eliminated had the opportunity to apply for other roles within the company, Heath said.

Among the largest private software firms

SAS was founded in 1976 by North Carolina State University students John Sall and the company’s current CEO, Jim Goodnight.

Under Goodnight, SAS become one of the world’s largest private software providers, surpassing $3 billion in annual revenue. Last year, SAS counted around 90% of Fortune 100 companies or their affiliates as customers.

But the company’s growth has flattened. In 2017, SAS generated $3.24 billion in revenue; in its 2022 annual report, the company said it “continues to record more than $3 billion in annual sales.”

SAS employed around 4,000 people in the Triangle area at the start of 2023, according to Wake County Economic Development. However, even before this year’s layoffs, SAS had been shrinking its workforce.

The company laid off workers in 2021. In January, Heath told The News & Observer that “over the years through natural attrition and conservative hiring, our headcount has gone down incrementally.” She added others left after taking voluntary buyouts.

This year’s cuts are occurring as SAS continues to eye going public. In 2021, Goodnight set a goal for SAS to reach the stock market within three years. However, earlier this month, the company told the N&O that unanticipated delays meant it is now more likely to IPO in 2025.

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