Adobe has announced 600 job cuts throughout the company. The news was buried half way through their recently released Q4 2008 fiscal results. Mike Downey, principal evangelist for the Flash, Flex and AIR products is believed to be one of those laid off as part of the cuts.
The news of Mike Downey leaving Adobe is the talk of the community today and Mike just noticed that this is a community that cares. In addition to the job cuts (600 of an estimated 7000 employees globally) Adobe won't be taking a booth at this years MacWorld Expo. JD has a good summary of how this was all over Twitter yesterday.
It is interesting to see a company that makes almost a billion quarterly, thinking that a possible loss in revenue of 2-4% is a great reason to fire more than 8% of their staff? "The global economic crisis significantly impacted our revenue during the fourth quarter," said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer in an Adobe press release on the layoff. "We have taken action to reduce our operating costs and fine-tune the focus of our resources on key strategic priorities".
Let's hope that the Adobe executives remember that they're primarily in the knowledge business. It's really their employees that makes a difference, not layoffs that are staged to impress shareholders. After all - a company that earns $130.000 per employee per quarter (!) shouldn't really be considered so unprofitable it has to fire people? In our books, that's a decent profit so the layoffs seems more like a play for the shareholders than actually making a difference. Eventually this will hurt Adobe's innovation as employees feel it's an unsafe place to work. Bruce Nussbaum has a great article in BusinessWeek on what NOT to do in a recession - maybe worth a read for Shantanu and the execs in case the times get even tougher?
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