Jive takes Sequoia's advice, cuts one-third of its headcount

Jive Software recently cut headcount by up to a third, a prudent move designed to maintain profitability.

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay

TechCrunch is reporting that Jive Software, an emerging collaboration leader, has cut one-third of its headcount. Sam Lawrence, Jive's chief marketing officer, has confirmed the news. Normally this wouldn't be inspiring news for Jive customers and prospects, but in this case I think it's actually a reason to be optimistic if you fall into one of these camps.

Jive is backed by Sequoia, the same firm that recently warned its portfolio companies to manage cash prudently through the downturn. Jive grew at a frenetic pace over the past year--this move is a way to return to prudent, more profitable growth. Jive has been profitable since its 2001 launch.

Jive, while not an open-source company, has dabbled in open source and makes good products. I'm glad to see the company managing its business to survive and thrive in the downturn. Had Jive made this announcement six months from today, it would probably portend bad news. But this strikes me as Jive getting its financial house in order in advance of potential problems.

The only open question for me is why Jive would can its vice president of Sales if things are going well. I've heard that Jive is doing well financially, but you don't fire your sales head when money is pouring in. Anyone have any insight into this?