Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

SecondMarket Lays Off 10 Percent in Light of Facebook IPO

SecondMarket, the marketplace for private company shares that built much of its business on pre-IPO interest in Facebook equity, laid off 10 percent of its staff today. Prior to the layoffs, the New York City-based company employed approximately 150 people.

Word of the layoffs was first reported by CNET.

A SecondMarket spokesperson said, “In a post-Facebook market world, we have decided to eliminate some positions that are no longer core to our company’s long-term mission. We reduced our headcount by approximately 10 percent today, but will continue to hire in select areas. We have no additional planned layoffs and look forward to ramping up our headcount in the future.”

Facebook is expected to go public in May.

A source familiar with SecondMarket said its final auction for private shares of Facebook will end on Tuesday.

On the bright side, SecondMarket likely stands to benefit from the higher private company shareholder limits set forth in the JOBS Act, which Congress approved this week and President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law next week. The new limit would be 2,000 shareholders before a company falls under SEC reporting obligations, up from the infamous limit of 500 today.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik