Business & Tech

Akamai cuts 140 jobs as it seeks to boost security business

Akamai Technologies says most of the jobs cut were from offices outside Massachusetts.
Arist Frangules/Globe Staff/File
Akamai Technologies says most of the jobs cut were from offices outside Massachusetts.

Akamai Technologies, the Internet technology company based in Kendall Square, said it has eliminated 140 jobs effective Friday.

The cuts were made across its corporate work force, which includes more than a dozen sites in the US and internationally, Akamai said, with fewer than 30 of the positions in Massachusetts.

Akamai’s main business is to helping media companies and other large web users to smoothly deliver content over the Internet, such as strengthening the signal of video. But it has also been moving into services, and recently acquired Janrain, a Portland, Ore., company that provides secure digital identification tools.

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The job cuts amount to less than 2 percent of its work force, and Akamai said it would use the cost savings to support growth in other areas, such as selling cybersecurity services. The company first announced the reductions in January, and said then that it would try to find new roles for affected employees.

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“The decision to eliminate jobs is very difficult and the last thing that anyone wants to do,” chief executive Tom Leighton said in a January letter to employees obtained by the Globe. “However, this action is necessary to provide us with the ability to reinvest in the fastest growing areas of the business.”

Akamai is poised to move into a new headquarters building on Broadway in Cambridge. The technology firm previously was under pressure from a noted Wall Street hedge fund, Elliott Management, to improve its performance, and boost its stock price. One year ago, Akamai agreed to take on additional board members, and increase operating margins and a share buyback program.

Its share price closed Friday at $72.47, slightly below levels in March 2017 when it struck the deal with Elliott.

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com.