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Cognizant to cut 7,000 jobs, exit its content moderation business

Cognizant to cut 7,000 jobs, exit its content moderation business
Photo Credit: Reuters

Information technology firm Cognizant is laying off 5,000 to 7,000 mid-to-senior level associates over the next few quarters.

Cognizant is also exiting some of its content moderation businesses, which it says are not in line with the company’s long-term strategic vision. It will exit this segment over the course of 2020.

“While we intend to exit this work, we recognize that cleansing the web of objectionable content is a worthy cause and one in which companies have a role to play. For this reason, we have decided to allocate $5 million to fund research aimed at increasing the level of sophistication of algorithms and automation, thereby reducing users’ exposure to objectionable content,” Brian Humphries, chief executive officer told reporters in its third-quarter earnings call.

Exiting this subset will impact Cognizant’s financial performance in the coming year and also affect about 6,000 jobs in the segment, Humphries said.

The particular area of Cognizant’s business caters to clients like Facebook and involves determining whether certain content violates client standards and can involve objectionable materials.

This sector’s layoffs will also impact revenue in the company’s communications, media and technology segment, with the ramp-down in work expected to be over the next one to two years.

The Teaneck, New Jersey-headquartered company said it now expects full-year revenue growth of between 4.6% and 4.9%, compared with its earlier guidance of growth of between 3.9% and 4.9%.

The IT services provider reported net income of $497 million, or 90 cents per share, in the quarter ended September 30, up from $477 million, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier.

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