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American Express, eBay to cut jobs this year

Credit card company American Express and e-commerce website eBay have announced job cuts.

American Express announced on Wednesday it is cutting more than 4,000 jobs globally, or about six per cent of its total workforce.

It is described as a company-wide efficiency drive, even as its fourth-quarter profit rose 11 per cent.

The cuts will span the company’s U.S. and international operations, and will take place over the course of the year.

Some of the layoffs will be offset by hiring elsewhere in the company, chief financial officer Jeffrey Campbell said.

The last time the credit card company did a mass job cut was in 2013, when it cut 5,400 jobs.

American Express said it earned US$1.45 billion in the three-month period that ended on Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, EBay says it will cut 2,400 jobs, or seven per cent of its workforce, before the end of March, after reporting weak holiday sales and forecast sluggish revenue growth, as it faces a sales challenge from Amazon and Wal-Mart.

The company announced on Wednesday that the layoffs will place at eBay and PayPal, which is also owned by the online bidding site, as well as its enterprise businesses.

The job cuts follows a year that saw eBay ward off a challenge from minority shareholder Carl Icahn, who was pushing for eBay to sell off PayPal, which is eBay’s best-performing unit.

On Wednesday, the company said its fourth-quarter net income was up 10 per cent due to its PayPal payments business. EBay said its net income in the October to December quarter was pegged at $936 million.

EBay says it is considering options for some of its divisions, including a plan to spin off its PayPal unit sometime later this year.

With files from Mike Eppel, The Associated Press and CNN