Seattle Layoff Update: Exide, Expedia, Impinj, Sun Trim Staff; MSN Encarta, Trusera to Close

4/3/09Follow @gthuang

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen further bloodletting in terms of area tech-company layoffs and closures. It really is brutal out there. Here is a quick recap:

—Exide Technologies (NASDAQ: XIDE), a maker of batteries and energy storage devices in Alpharetta, GA, closed its facility in Sumner, WA, and laid off 43 workers earlier this week. The staff cuts were effective immediately.

—Bellevue, WA-based travel site Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE) laid off an undisclosed number of workers about two weeks ago. The latest staff cuts came on the heels of another layoff (numbers also not disclosed) at the company in February.

—Seattle-based Impinj, the maker of novel radio frequency identification technologies, laid off 23 workers (or about 18 percent of its staff of 130) two weeks ago. Xconomy profiled the company’s strategy in February.

—Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA), the software and networking giant, laid off 24 employees in Bellevue, WA, earlier this week. The staff cuts are effective May 30.

—Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is laying off two employees at its Seattle facility near the International District, effective June 30, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.

—Microsoft is also shutting down MSN Encarta, its online encyclopedia site, as of October 31, 2009. The move is viewed as a response to the changing nature of reference materials and information access, thanks to competing sites like Wikipedia.

—Seattle-based Trusera, the online community healthcare startup founded by ex-Amazon exec Keith Schorsch, said it may close at the end of April unless it can raise more funding in a hurry. Trusera began in early 2007, raised $2 million in angel funding that summer, and rolled out its public site in June 2008.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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  • http://www.victimsofexpedia.com John

    About 160 were laid off in the first round at EXPEDIA. SOurce: http://expedianews.com/punbb/viewtopic.php?id=466

  • Mike

    I myself have just been made redundant from Expdia and my perception is that redundancies have been implemented as a continuum from November through to now.

    You also have to consider that the consultation process to manage the redundancies can take anywhere between 4-10 weeks in Europe (the French in particular have a convoluted system for this process which involves trade unions and bureaucracy and predictably takes three times longer than anywhere else). So I was put on notice of redundancy at the same time as people in Bellevue about six weeks ago but the discrepancies in the labour laws (from Europe to North America) will partly explain why it appears that Expedia is undertaking multiple rounds of redundancy.

    You could potentially argue that the redundancies in November and now are different although I believe that both have come about as result of Expedia significantly reorganising itself rather than a desire to excise 5-6% of its workforce. It just so happens it was easier to get rid of the IT resources in November.

  • Mike

    (Apologies if it seems like I’m really labouring this point) You could argue that November and now are different redundancy initiatives but most of these redundancies have come about as a result of a massive reorganisation within Expedia as opposed to just culling 5-6% of its workforce for fiscal reasons. It just so happens that it was less difficult to make those cuts in the IT organisation of Expedia in November than it was elsewhere.