Layoffs in view at open-source companies

Makers of open-source software, like everyone else, are not immune from the logic of the recession: cut headcount now to avoid future disaster.

Microsoft is expected to announce layoffs soon . Google is laying off 100 of its recruiters as it slows hiring. (In case you're looking for a date, apparently Google's recruiting team is, ahem, well-favored in the aesthetics department .) Even Apple, as CNET's headline reads , is planning for life "without Jobs."

OK, so the "Jobs" in question is Steve Jobs, and he's scheduled to return to his day job in six months, but you get the picture.

The downturn is hitting open source, too. Despite earlier prognostications to the contrary , I'm hearing news of a swelling number of open-source companies that are shaving headcount, including some of the biggest names. (No, Red Hat is not one of them.)

I suppose that this was inevitable, as smart companies do smart things: when the economy tightens, these companies, along with leaders like Google and Microsoft, are going to ensure profitability.

I just regret to see good people released into the wild, and some of the people affected are very, very good (and mostly on the sales side, from what I've seen).

The point, however, is that no one is completely immune. That's not a surprise. But it is unwelcome news.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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