Universal Music Said to Pare 60 Administrative Jobs to Reduce Expenses

Universal Music Group eliminated 60 support jobs today as parent Vivendi SA seeks to reduce costs, according to a company official with knowledge of the cuts.

Universal, the world’s biggest record company with 7,000 employees, fired workers in finance, distribution, information technology and label operations, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public.

Vivendi, based in Paris, is considering reorganizing Universal Music and may offer specifics early this year, Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Levy said at a Nov. 19 investor conference sponsored by Morgan Stanley. Universal is looking for ways to reduce costs without eliminating creative talent as it shifts its focus to digital and global operations.

“The current economic climate dictates that we continue to look for more efficient ways to run our business,” Peter Lofrumento, a spokesman for Universal Music in New York, said in an e-mailed statement. “We are taking steps to reduce costs while increasing our creative investment.”

Vivendi, which controls game maker Activision Blizzard Inc., gained 11 cents to 21.67 euros today in Paris. The shares fell 2.9 percent in 2010.

The parent company had 48,000 employees as of December 2009, according to Bloomberg data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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