Northwest Layoff Update: Vidoop, TeachStreet, Pathway, Nokia, Microsoft Cut Staff

5/15/09Follow @gthuang

Times are still tough out there—and maybe getting tougher—despite faint rumblings of an economic recovery on the horizon. In the past two weeks, young startups and big public companies alike have shed workers in layoffs big and small. Here’s a quick recap of the bloodletting in the Northwest.

—Vidoop, a Portland, OR-based maker of online security and authentication software, laid off an unspecified number of staff members this week, according to its blog. The company cited “the current economic climate and its impact on our target market” and a longer sales cycle as reasons for the cuts. In November, Vidoop reportedly laid off nine of its 37 workers. The company moved to Portland from Oklahoma last September.

—Seattle-based TeachStreet, an online community site that connects students and teachers in six metro areas around the U.S., laid off four staff members on Monday. The move, which was first reported by TechFlash, was made to give the startup a longer runway. Dave Schappell, TeachStreet’s founder and CEO, confirmed the news but declined to say how many staff are left in Seattle. (Last August, the startup had about 10 people in its headquarters.)

“These were not performance-related layoffs,” Schappell said. “The world changed since we raised the first round.” Speaking of which, TeachStreet is expected to announce the close of a new funding round in the next week or so.

—Finnish mobile-phone giant Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is closing its office in Kirkland, WA, as part of a strategic shift to streamline investments in its services business. The number of local employees affected has not been disclosed, but Nokia said about 450 staff will be affected globally. The Kirkland office was built around former startup Twango’s mobile-media technology for sharing photos and videos online. Nokia bought Twango for an undisclosed sum in 2007.

—Kirkland, WA-based Pathway Medical Technologies slashed 39 positions (19 percent of its workforce) early last week, as Luke first reported. The move was made because the company didn’t raise as much as it hoped in its most recent venture financing round in March—Pathway brought in just $42.3 million out of the $55 million it was shooting for. Pathway makes a medical device that clears out blockages in leg arteries, but sales in the U.S. have fallen short of projections so far.

—Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), the Redmond, WA-based anchor of the tech community, implemented last week the second round of job cuts it originally announced back in January. About 1,200 workers in Washington state are losing their jobs, and there has been speculation that further staff cuts could be made if the company’s sales figures don’t improve in the coming months.

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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