Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonincal has once again returned to his positition of CEO, as Jane Silber, the previous CEO now heads to the Board of Directors; and big changes happen to the staff lineup as a result.
In a blog bost by Sibler, she says, “I originally agreed to be CEO for 5 years and we’ve extended my tenure as CEO by a couple of years already. We’ve been preparing for a transition for some time by strengthening the executive leadership team and maturing every aspect of the company, and earlier this year Mark and I decided that now is the time to effect this transition.”
The move comes as Canonical makes big changes to things within the company such as killing off the Unity desktop environment, and Ubuntu for Phones.
However, that’s not the only major change going on. According to an article by The Register, “The Reg has learned 31 or more staffers have already left the Linux distro biz ahead of Shuttleworth's rise, with at least 26 others now on formal notice and uncertainty surrounding the remainder. One individual has resigned while others, particularly in parts of the world with more stringent labour laws, such as the UK, are being left in the dark.”
Allegedly, some staff were given no heads up and simply told goodbye to, just simply fired with an out of nowhere video call.
The Register goes on to talk about how multiple employees claimed they had been promised share options by Shuttleworth only to be released of their contracts less than a week later.
However, a spokesperson by Canonical says, "Given the global nature of the company, it is not realistic for us to have the necessary structures and contracts in place in less than a week, but they will be established once that work is complete."
The cuts are the result of Shuttleworth looking to outside investors for funding. However some potential investors determined that Canonical was heading in directions on some projects that didn’t seem logical to invest in, with a lack of direction.
“"If we are going to take outside money and go public, how efficient do we need to be?" Shuttleworth said. "In a very cold commercial sense, we have to bring those numbers into line and that leads to headcount changes. One of those pieces I could not bring into line was Unity. We can't go through that market process and ask for outside investor money when there's something that big that doesn't have a revenue story. That's the pinch we got into."
Shuttleworth for years has been funding Canonical out of his own pockets, to little success financially. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Shuttleworth is worth $500 Million, which he made after selling a digital certificate authority to VeriSign back in 1999.
For more information you can read the original article posted by The Register.
What are your thoughts on this move? Is downsizing the company the right move?
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