And then there were 97

The folks at Wireless Ronin continue to work at reconfiguring the publicly-traded company.

There was a layoff round six weeks ago that reduced the headcount to 125 from 160, the latter a number that had many people scratching their heads wondering what everyone did. 

Now there’s word of another round of “right-sizing” – one which unfortunately puts a few more people out of work just in time for the holidays.

Wireless Ronin Technologies, Inc., a Minneapolis-based worldwide digital signage provider, today announced it has reduced its workforce by 30 people, or approximately 24 percent, including both employees and contractors.

Due to the continuing global economic decline and market conditions that have caused a slowdown in project deployment, Wireless Ronin today reduced its workforce by 24 percent, affecting its employees and contractors in both the United States and Canada. The employees and contractor base now totals 97. The Company does not expect today’s action to have any impact on Wireless Ronin’s service to its customers.

“We are further restructuring our business to decrease our expense base in fiscal year 2009 and preserve cash,” said Steve Birke, Wireless Ronin’s interim CEO. “By right sizing our organization to meet current market demand, we believe we have positioned Wireless Ronin for improved financial performance and the ability to take advantage of the market shift from manual to digital signage, when the economy stabilizes and deployments accelerate.”

I genuinely hope everyone of the 97 still carrying Ronin cards have safe, stable jobs, but candidly, 97 people still seems like a lot of people. I’m thinking most of their competitors have, at most, half that.

UPDATE: A day later, James C. (Jim) Granger has been appointed as the Company’s new president and chief executive officer. He succeeds Stephen Birke, who has served as Wireless Ronin’s interim president and CEO, since September 2008, and was lilely the last guy anyone around there wanted to see coming down the hall at them, lugging an envelope.

Granger was most recently as president of Toptech Systems, Inc., a provider of software, hardware and data services where he was responsible for restoring company growth and increasing bottom line profitability. Prior to Toptech, Granger was director, president and CEO of Norstan Inc., a communications solutions and services company.