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Dailymotion changes reportedly leading to big staff losses

French YouTube rival Dailymotion has seen almost half of the staff employed at the time of its acquisition by Vivendi last year leave, and the outfit’s Palo Alto base is set for closure, according to a report by French financial daily Les Echos.

According to the paper, over 100 employees out of 220 have left since Vivendi acquired the outfit from Orange for €280 million last year, with sources blaming the rate of departures on cultural incompatibility. While some have been replaced, according to the paper, the total headcount has been reduced to 180 as a result of the departures.

Les Echos says that the Palo Alto office, where Dailymotion’s developers were concentrated, will be closed, with staff relocated to New York or Paris.

As well as technical and some commercial staff, Dailymotion has seen the departure of co-founder Oliver Poitrey, who joined Netflix in June, and CEO Cédric Tournay, who was replaced by Canal+ boss Maxime Saada at the beginning of this year.

Martin Rogard, the current deputy CEO of Dailymotion, is also to leave, according to Les Echos, with ex-YouTube and Webedia executive Virginie Courtieu taking over some of his responsibilities as director of content and strategy.

According to the paper, Saada aims to reposition Dailymotion as a more premium platform than YouTube, with an ambition to be more mobile-focused and more international.

Sources cited by Les Echos attributed the problems at the video site to Vivendi’s management style, which involves tighter control than that exercised by Orange, as well as lack of clarity about the future direction of the company.