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Global market research firm Kantar is planning to cut 10% of US staff as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic, North American CEO Reed Cundiff announced in a town hall meeting on Monday. The cuts will impact about 300 people, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. A Kantar spokesman acknowledged the coming cuts but wouldn't confirm the scope. Kantar employs 28,000 people around the world, according to its website. "Like many companies, Kantar has felt the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are making changes to our business now, unfortunately including redundancies, to ensure we rebound in a stronger position, capable of sustainable growth," the spokesman said. "The changes we are making are focused on building a faster, simpler organisation that allows us to allocate resources to our growth and innovation priorities." Some of Kantar's direct competitors have also announced significant layoffs as a result of the pandemic. In July, Nielsen said it would cut around 3,500 jobs, or 8% of its global workforce. Kantar was established in 1992 by ad holding company WPP to consolidate its market research disciplines. Kantar tracks consumer behavior to help companies market their products. Its customers include half of all Fortune 500 companies, according to WPP. WPP sold 60% of Kantar to Bain Capital in 2019 in a deal that valued it at $4 billion. WPP CEO Mark Read described the sale as part of his plan to turn the struggling business around and create a leaner company. Cundiff then joined Kantar from Microsoft, where he was general manager of customer and market research. A Bain Capital spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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