Riverbed Technologies expects to officially become a private company on Friday.
It inked an agreement to sell itself to Thoma Bravo and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan back in December thanks to activist investor Paul Elliott.
And on Thursday — as many employees feared — the company is laying off workers. A Riverbed spokesperson confirmed the layoff to Business Insider.
“As a private company, some functions will no longer be needed, and in addition we are making changes to streamline our operations and focus our resources on our greatest opportunities. Unfortunately, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to reduce our workforce.”
However, the company would not confirm the whisper number we heard — about 400 people or 15% of its 2,555 workforce. (That was its employee count as of December, the last time it reported headcount.)
Nor would it confirm the names of a number of high-profile engineers we heard were leaving.
Employees inside the company had been fearing this day for a while. A couple of days ago a five-year employee identified as a “senior manager” posted a bitter review on job hunting site Glassdoor:
“… With sales numbers dwindling, company layoffs, and the recent acquisition by Thoma Bravo looming … there’s a huge sign of uncertainly with the future of Riverbed.”
“As a private company, some functions will no longer be needed …”
We heard from multiple sources that some of the company’s best engineering talent is leaving, too, either through cuts or just jumping ship to new jobs. Anonymous posting board The Layoff was also filled with gossip about the layoff like this one:
“It seems they picked the names out of a hat. Riverbed shooting [itself] in the foot letting some of the best people go.”
As soon as the company is officially private, it will no longer have to disclose details about its business such as layoffs, as long as such layoffs are small and don’t trigger laws such as the WARN Act.
Here’s the full statement Riverbed sent to us about the workforce:
Riverbed is taking necessary steps to update our operating model and create the structure we need to deliver profitable growth and even greater value to our customers and partners well into the future. As a private company, some functions will no longer be needed, and in addition we are making changes to streamline our operations and focus our resources on our greatest opportunities. Unfortunately, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to reduce our workforce.
While these actions are difficult, they are necessary to ensure our future success. The application performance sector is poised to see even greater advances in the coming years, and Riverbed has the opportunity to realise our next phase of growth, which will benefit the more than 26,000 customers who rely on Riverbed for superior application performance.
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