Hard times are hitting Patch, AOL’s network of hyperlocal news sites. In an earnings call yesterday, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said that he expects to shut, sell or find partners for nearly 300 of the 900 sites, Newsday reported this morning. Additionally, Mr. Armstrong said that layoffs will eliminate up to 500 positions, reported Jim Romenesko. Details of the layoffs will be announced on Friday.
Giving employees two days to speculate about upcoming layoffs understandably rankled staffers.
Exit This Way
It wasn’t long after Zynga announced it would be laying off 18 percent of its staff that fired employees began to speak to the press. But one enterprising ex-Zyngaite decided to circumvent the traditional media route by hosting his own AMA on Reddit.
“What do you want to know about Zynga?” wrote the poster under the handle former_zyngite. “I’ll try to be as honest and open as possible.” As proof of his identity, the poster included a photo of his layoff paperwork.
When news came down yesterday that Zynga was shuttering three of its locations and laying off 18 percent of its staff, employees in the New York office, many of whom joined the social gaming behemoth following the acquisition of an indie game studio named OMGPOP, were prepared for the worst.
According to an OMGPOP employee who was laid off yesterday, the office seemed like it was winding down over the past few months. Zynga’s VP of mobile, Sean Kelly, who had been tapped to replace OMGPOP cofounder Dan Porter, was rarely around the office, and though he had charged the teams with brainstorming ideas for new games just two weeks ago, he didn’t follow up with a roadmap to help guide their new game concepts into fruition.
I'll Tumbl For You
SecondMarket was having a pretty good week. On Tuesday came a flurry of articles about the startup’s crowdfunding-flavored partnership with Angellist, and just yesterday, CEO Barry Silbert announced that Tennessee’s First Advantage Bank was using the service to go private while remaining open to investors. He called the move “validation of our model.”
Today, according to a post on SecondMarket’s blog, several employees got the ax as part of “org changes.”
Earlier this week, Tumblr CEO David Karp took the stage at PaidContent Live for a panel called “Tumblr and the Future of Media.” It was a poignant title considering that one of the topics discussed was Mr. Karp’s recent, rather brusque blog post announcing the end of Storyboard, a high-profile editorial experiment that hired journalists to write features or film documentary video about Tumblr’s community of “creators.”
For example, this Storyboard piece about a photojournalist documenting a gang truce in El Salvador (on his Tumblr) was published by Mother Jones. One about activists and feminists using nail art (and the growing subculture on Tumblr) was produced in partnership with the Daily Beast.
Lot 18, the troubled New York-based wine sales marketplace, has booted another batch of staffers. AllThingsD broke the news that the company laid off 25 employees this morning, cutting approximately 35 percent of its staff. This brings the total employees to 46, about half as many as it boasted just a year ago.
After rumors began swirling on Twitter about layoffs at Salesforce, the cloud-computing company confirmed to Business Insider that it has laid off a fair chunk of its Radian6 employees. Salesforce says that less than 100 employees were impacted, but considering that Radian6 boasts only 320 employees total (according to Crunchbase), that’s still almost a third of the staffers being shown the door.
Radian6, a social media monitoring platform, is an integral part of Salesforce’s big play for a piece of the social marketing space. It acquired Radian6 back in March 2011 in order to build out the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Social gaming company Zynga has endured a rough couple of months. After its acquisition of the NYC-based company OMGPOP–producers of the fad-friendly game Draw Something–Zynga has experienced a downward spiral. Earlier this month, it reported an estimated net loss of $90 million to $105 million for its third quarter, sending its already-low stock price into a tailspin. Now, The Next Web reports that the company has laid off 100 staffers from its Austin headquarters, and may even be shuttering its Boston office altogether.
How did big data become a meme? Here’s a hint: a catchy, non-technical name helps. [New York Times]
Larry Page’s big plan for his “boldest” acquisition involves laying off 20 percent of Motorola’s work force–and nearly a third of its 94 offices around the globe–on his way to becoming a hardware manufacturer. Generous severance packages Read More
We heard rumors that a large majority of Meebo’s staff was let go immediately prior to announcing its acquisition by Google, so we reached out to a source to confirm.
A source inside the company told us that Google acquired Meebo primarily for the engineering team, and that those engineers would be going to Read More