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After a tough year, BitTorrent replaces CEO again

Naming of Eric Klinker to file-sharing wunderkind's top post is accompanied by a 50 percent layoff and plans to close its media store, according to the Times.

Those keeping track of high-profile tech companies highly affected by the economic downturn can add BitTorrent to their list.

The San Francisco backer of the popular open-source file-sharing protocol on Friday gave pink slips to about half of its staff--18 people--according to a source cited by The New York Times' Brad Stone, and replaced CEO Doug Walker. The company had already endured a 22 percent layoff in August, which reportedly affected its entire sales and marketing department.

Eric Klinker BitTorrent

Chief Technology Officer Eric Klinker, who has "two decades of networking, content delivery, and management experience" under his belt, according to a statement from BitTorrent, has been named as Walker's replacement and has joined the company's board of directors. Walker had left Alias Systems to take the CEO role just more than a year ago.

According to the BitTorrent statement:

Klinker has...been instrumental to the continued development of the BitTorrent client, BitTorrent's Delivery Network Accelerator (DNA) content delivery service, BitTorrent's Software Development Kit (SDK) and BitTorrent's proprietary advanced congestion control technology. The latter has been at the center of BitTorrent's influential discussions and well-publicized collaboration with Comcast Corporation, as it seeks to deploy a protocol-agnostic network management solution.

The Times report also said the company plans to shut down its media store, the BitTorrent Entertainment Network.

BitTorrent, the focus of much attention this year, with respect to Net neutrality and copyright infringement, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.