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January 6, 2009

LiveJournal Restructuring: Not As Bad As Reported?

LiveJournal finally published a press release regarding the restructuring of the company, which is fancy words for cutting parts of the workforce. Previous reports might or might not be a bit extreme, it is really hard to tell because the press release really doesn’t tell us much.

LiveJournal Inc.’s headquarters, technical operations (and servers,) legal, administration, and customer service teams will remain in the United States. LiveJournal’s global product development and design will now be coordinated out of its Moscow office. The pooling of resources between the U.S. and Russia will allow the company to build a stronger business model, well positioned to guarantee the long-term success of LiveJournal.

As a result of these changes, Matthew Berardo, VP and General Manager of LiveJournal Inc., will be leaving the company along with other valued colleagues. Mr. Berardo played the leading role in consolidating product and design efforts to enable the business to more effectively streamline costs during his tenure. LiveJournal Inc. will now be led jointly by Stephanie Gravelle, currently LiveJournal Inc.’s director of finance and administration, and Sergei Komarov, currently CTO of SUP (LiveJournal Inc.’s holding company).

A press representative told me that “LJ laid off about a dozen employees, which is less than 20% of the entire LJ workforce”, a bit less than the previous report of 20 sacked employees posted by Valleywag. On the other hand, the PR rep talked about the entire workforce, which might mean something.

One thing is for sure, and that is that LiveJournal is in trouble. I personally find it unlikely to see this one go belly up, someone will pick it up before that happens, but you might want to hold on to your premium account dollars, at least for now.

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LiveJournal Cuts Workforce, Doomed?

Bad news for 20 employees at LiveJournal, they just got sacked, leaving only 8 left to run the now Russian social network. Vallyewag broke the story, and found this LiveJournal blog that tells of no severance package and a total lack of advance warnings. Ouch. I bet Six Apart is happy it sold the service to SUP in time.

Hopefully the LiveJournal service will not suffer too much because of this, but if I were a user I’d start getting backups. I doubt LiveJournal will go all JournalSpace on us, but still, you never know.

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