Eazel has had a rollercoaster of a day. Yesterday, the company announced the release of Nautilus 1.0 and, in the afternoon, 40 of its marketing, sales, and engineering people became former employees.
Aaron Brick, one of the unfortunate recipients of a pink slip, was a research and testing engineer for Eazel, founded in August 1999 by former Apple developers hoping to improve the Linux desktop. Brick says his boss, who also lost his job, told him about the situation today just before a company-wide meeting took place during which the bad news was officially delivered.
Brick seemed matter-of-fact about losing his job. "I'm just going to look for a new job," he said. "Hopefully it will be open source, but I'm not holding my breath." Brick says he is receiving three weeks severance pay.
Greg Wood, press contact for Eazel, confirmed the layoffs. "Basically, Eazel is laying off 40 people out of 75," he said. "Brian Croll, VP of Marketing, is the one marketing person staying." Wood said that Eazel wiped out its marketing and sales departments and is hanging on to the remaining 34 (not counting Croll), who are on the programming and developing side.
Brick, who wasn't in marketing or sales but still lost his job, had a slightly different take on the layoff percentages. "Basically, the only people left are the ones who were working directly on Nautilus. They wiped out the quality engineering department, labs and the services engineering team."
Why did Eazel do this? Wood's answer was fairly predictable, given the current downturn in the market. "Eazel grew very quickly because when they were coming together as a company, the environment was a lot different than it is today. The layoffs reflected the new sober environment that Linux is facing. While there's still growth, it just has to be scaled back.
"This is something they did not want to have to do." ®
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