John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

RealDepressing: The Entire RealNetworks Layoff Memo

Earlier this afternoon, Peter Kafka reported in Media Memo that RealNetworks (RNWK) was “next up in today’s layoff parade.” Here’s the official internal memo from RealNetworks founder, chairman and CEO, Rob Glaser:

Team —

I’m writing to share some important but not happy news.

Today, we’re implementing a reduction in force affecting about 130 employees, representing about 7.5 percent of the company’s work force. This is a world-wide initiative; about one-third will be in Seattle, approximately another third in other U.S. locations, and the rest outside of the U.S. This is roughly proportionate to the overall number of people we have in each region. All divisions are affected in varying degrees.

Many of the reductions are a result of consolidations of operations of companies we’ve acquired in the past year or so that are being integrated with other parts of our business. We also have looked across the company to integrate similar functions and groups to achieve better efficiency.

Having said that, this is also a reflection of the economy. While our business has not been affected as much as many, we are not immune to what’s going on in the wider economy. In addition to these staff reductions, we’re also tightening our belt in other ways–watching travel expenses even more closely, for instance, and canceling the Seattle HQ holiday party.

Because of the unusually difficult economic environment, we’re taking extra steps to help affected employees. For instance, every affected staff member in the U.S. will receive six months of Cobra healthcare coverage, which is double what we have done in the past. We’re making similar adjustments internationally.

Despite the changes being made today, which I and the rest of the management team deeply regret, the company is well positioned to weather the current economic storm. As per our last earnings call, we expect to achieve record revenue for the year, and we still see opportunities for growth and investment across the business. In order to stay healthy, we need to get our costs in line with the business as it looks today. This will enable us to continue investing in the areas that set us up for growth and success in the future.

Below is a brief video that goes into additional detail.

I’ll have more to say at our next company meeting early in 2009. Until then, take care.


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