The week in tech layoffs

The long list of companies planning staff cuts ranges from Pandora to Tesla Motors, leaving a slew of highly trained workers looking for new opportunities.

Web 2.0 economy

With financial troubles taking their toll on every sector of the economy, an increasing number of companies are laying off employees to stay afloat. And the technology industry is no different.

The long and growing list of tech companies planning staff cuts ranges from Pandora to Tesla Motors , leaving a slew of highly trained workers looking for new opportunities:

  • Appcelerator, an open-source software company that develops products and services for rapid rich Internet application development, was forced to close its Atlanta office Wednesday and lay off its remaining six employees working in the city.
  • Pandora, the online music streaming service, announced Thursday that it was forced to lay off 20 employees because, as its founder pointed out, it's simply "not immune to the challenges presented by the current economic turmoil."
  • Hi5, the third-largest social network, confirmed Thursday that it laid off "10 to 15 percent" of its staff in a restructuring plan that will see some go, but others hired in different areas of the company. Like other companies in the market, Hi5 wants to be prepared for any economic troubles it may face.
  • Business social-software maker Jive Software reportedly laid off one-third of its workforce Tuesday to, you guessed it, stay ahead of what it perceives will be a tumultuous economic environment in coming months.
  • Sirius XM announced Thursday that it laid off 50 on-air and off-air employees in its Washington, D.C., office. The layoffs were the result of a companywide belt tightening on the part of Sirius XM to help it eventually turn a profit and grow its free cash flow.
  • Redfin, an online brokerage for residential real estate, laid off 20 percent of its employees earlier this week in a move that it claims had more to do with the current economic conditions than its business model. There are 75 to 80 employees remaining at the company.
  • Tesla Motors announced Wednesday that it will lay off its entire Detroit office staff to adapt to the changing economic conditions. The company claims the layoffs will help it achieve its goal of becoming cash-flow-positive within the next six to nine months.
  • AdBrite, the "Web's online ad marketplace," announced that it laid off 40 percent of its staff . The company's CEO, Iggy Fanlo, claims the move has nothing to do with performance and everything to do with his desire to make AdBrite profitable immediately.
  • Zivity, the start-up that specializes in letting people vote on the best adult pictures on its service, has laid off one-third of its staff over concern about future economic troubles.
  • Last Friday, Seesmic, a video microblog, announced that it laid off one-third of its workforce due to uncertainty and the company's desire to be prepared if the economy gets worse.

Although each company has its own rationale for the layoffs, they all seem concerned about staying competitive and maintaining a sound financial structure to weather tough times.

We'll be updating this list. Perhaps it will help bridge those companies looking to hire experienced employees with those seeking new opportunities.

Click here for ongoing coverage from CNET News, "Tough times for tech"

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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