Feb 8, 2009

More Job Cuts

Just got this message:

FYI: Round 3 of cuts just hit on Friday (2/6/09). Another 13 people let go. All free pop gone and lunchbox subsidy is canceled. They will of course still have lunchbox to keep the sheep at their desks but now everyone has to pay full price.

I can't wait to find a new job and jump from this sinking ship. What a mistake it was to ever come here.

No word yet if these were more "underperformers" or if Linkner will ever be able to live down his comments about the July firings (20). He managed to keep his foot out of his mouth with the December round (13).

Back in July, 2008, the Oakland Business Review reported:

The company has 350 employees, 275 of which are in Michigan, and the layoffs amount to less than 5 percent of the workforce. Those laid off received severance packages, and there are no plans for more layoffs, Linkner said.

Laid off? Does that mean they'll be called back any time now? There's an interesting discussion of that topic here.

Does this mean that ePrize is down to 324 employees or 304... or have others quit without the press? I doubt (m)any were hired. And, what's the deal with the two sets of firings of thirteen people? It's enough to give someone triskaidekaphobia.

And the idea of severance at ePrize isn't much to sneeze at. Typically it's two weeks pay (at their low rate) and your signature on a document that dispenses of all your rights. I still regret signing mine and encourage anyone who is presented with this document to get it reviewed and amended by a lawyer.


Anonymous said...

I remember when Josh Linkner was speaking at an event last year boasting he was hiring to bring his employee count to 350 this year. It is a shame that ePrize has now been brought into a similar trend to over-hire, over-estimate growth and eventually have to lay off.

Smarter hiring in the future associated with realistic goals would be wise.

Anonymous said...

the number of layoffs in December was 20, not 13.

Anonymous said...

From what I've heard, people have been "scared" every week wondering what's going to happen next and who is going to get released. If they really want to inspire confidence in the company, the "leadership" team needs to take responsibility for the ability to manage the company, or lack their of. They should send a message that they too are under the gun. People like Jordan shouldn't be allowed to continue to collect a paycheck. Does anyone really look at someone like him and think "now there is someone that I look up to and trust to manage and inspire confidence in the company?" That would tell people that they are looking at this across the board and not just a reduction in headcount and $$ in order to make the company seem more profitable on paper. I'm betting all those plasma TVs would be a good sale on eBay for some cash too.

Anonymous said...

Will the last person at ePrize please turn out the lights?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that the entire economy is messed up? Would it be more responsible to keep people the company doesn't need? Question - how many of your companies have made zero job cuts over the last 12 months? I don't think cutting expenses in a recession is the wrong approach. Microsoft, IBM, Yahoo, and every other tech company is doing the same thing. ePrize is still a great place to work.

Also, there have been some leaders laid off too. Drew B., Tony P, Roy K. You are getting faulty info.

Anonymous said...

Yes, leaders have been removed from the company. Not sure they were really the right ones. Simply cutting people that are making a little more money than the next guy doesn't exactly solve the company's problems. To ask a question to the crowd, would you prefer the business sense of Robb, Drew or Phil, or the decisions and guidance of someone like Jordan and Gerry? My money is on the former who actually have have some real experience and qualities that inspire people. They did the right thing with Gerry yet keep someone like Jordan around. I wonder why?

In actuality, Drew was the best business sense and true leader of people that they have ever had. But, I suppose he was destined to fail being put in charge of a project where "leadership and investors" kept changing requirements and throwing more money into the mix expecting the world to jump on board and start line their pockets just because they had an idea. I guess everything needs a fall guy, just in case things don't work out. It's too bad they never look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jordan B! Taking some hits! I remember when Ivan used to be the whipping boy!

Anonymous said...

No wonder they are running promotions for new ideas, the staff can't produce any because they are riveted with fear. Regardless of all the previous promises that all jobs are safe, they are not "heads are rollin" and every day people wonder who is next.
The investors are obviously scrambling to make a return, if you can't do that with increased sales and profits, guess what? The costs start getting reduced,and jobs get axed, which is exactly whats happening right now. Pride comes before a fall.

Anonymous said...

Did everyone in the London office get canned? No reference to the office anymore.

Anonymous said...

It's missing here:

ePrize Locations

Though still available here:
Old ePrize site

And still mentions London on this page:
ePrize Blog

exPrizer said...

Please remember that ePrize does not hire new people. They hire your replacement. This is not new. I started at ePrize at the beginning.

If you want to stay at ePrize do not try to move up in the company, i.e. do not ask for a raise. Once you do they will give you the raise and then find your cheaper replacement.

The ePrize website states: "We embrace change. We're not afraid to think big..." That's right! If you are not inner circle, you are changed.

ePrize is not your company. It's Josh's company. When people talk about firings as helping ePrize make it, they are right... but they aren't making it for you.

The problem most exPrizers have is that we were brought on to a company we were supposed to believe in, sweat extra for, foster culture with, be more than your work (band, kitchens, lunchboxes), but then we find out none of it means anything! It's like finding the wizard (Josh) behind the curtain (culture).

Getting fired eventually was a good thing that happened to me. It would have been nice if they wouldn't have fired me the Friday after my wedding they all came to. I realized that companies can't create culture. Employees have to create culture. Companies can't expect respect and dedication if they do not offer it to their employees. Also, at the end of the day, you are talking about getting people's email addresses, so don't sugar coat it like you are doing the lord's work. Also, hard work and intensity and expecting excellence and all that crap is just that, crap. You get better work, less burn-out, more well-rounded people and better results from employees that aren't hyper-stressed and don't have to go the extra-mile EVERY time. Also It's real hard figuring out if you should succeed at ePrize because here comes your replacement or fail because you'll be labelled as an under-performer when you leave anyway. That is why ePrize is filled with people who do neither and trot down the middle of the line or the people they love: people who have no off switch and no self-esteem or self-worth when they realize they have no personal life.

Whoa! Where did that come from?

Anonymous said...

I love this website. It's so great to know that I'm not alone in the way I feel about this company. It's really unfortunate the way management treats employees like commodities. Nobody is safe, well, maybe one person is safe. I was chewed up and spit out. I worked my ass off for this company for the year I was there. When I was fired, I was escorted to my car! Like I was some kind of criminal! That might be normal protocal with many companies. I have no idea because it's the only time I've ever been fired, but that feeling that you worked so damn hard and productively, but in the end you were just thrown in the trash is the worst feeling I've ever gone through.

Anonymous said...

Linkner is just another silly YPO fool, that is all that needs to be said.

Anonymous said...

i was in this 13 and again, a blessing in disguise. but i certainly don't think the company is as terrible as you say. may i suggest something? move on...

Anonymous said...

Were you considering moving on before they moved you out the front door and escorted you to your car?