Aug 24, 2012 01:27 PM EDT
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Autodesk Plans Downsize Company While Moving To The Cloud

By Donovan Jackson
Autodesk CEO
(Photo : Reuters) Chairman and CEO of Network Associates William Larson (L) and CEO of Autodesk Inc. Carol Bartz

Architectural and engineering software company Autodesk, said the company will consolidate some leased facilities and reduce staff in the "near-term" as it expands in the cloud.

Shares plunged the most in more than three years after the software maker lowered its annual sales forecast and said it plans to cut jobs as it restructures to focus on cloud and mobile computing.

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"Our own execution challenges, combined with an uneven global economy, resulted in disappointing revenue results for the quarter" ended July 31, Autodesk Chief Executive Officer Carl Bass said in the statement. "This restructuring is squarely focused on our continued transformation and shift to more cloud and mobile computing."

Autodesk is shifting away from traditional desktop-based computing and toward applications that can be delivered over the Web. As the largest seller of engineering software, its products have been used in everything from bridge design to the special effects in the movie "Avatar."

Last month, the company said it's spending $60 million to purchase Socialcam Inc. as it expands in the consumer market. Socialcam offers a smartphone application and Web-based service that lets users capture, edit and share videos.

"Despite our second quarter results, the changes better position Autodesk to meet the needs of our customers," Bass said.

Autodesk also builds software for smartphones and Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s iPad, such as its SketchBook app, which can create drawings and paintings on touch screens. The company's customer base includes about 12 million professionals and 80 million consumers.

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