LiveJournal Makes Deep Personnel Cuts

    January 6, 2009

For a short time there, it had started to feel like we were getting away from layoff stories; tales of 20 or 30 percent cuts stopped popping up every day or so.  Unfortunately, LiveJournal seems to have been hit rather hard, now, as a fresh report has about 71 percent of its employees losing their jobs. (Edit: see update.)

Owen Thomas writes that 20 of the organization’s 28 employees are gone.  "The company’s product managers and engineers were laid off," he explains, "leaving only a handful of finance and operations workers – which speaks to a website to be left on life support."

But here’s a bit of good news for everyone who’s not a member and hasn’t been affected by the layoffs: any underlying problems may be specific to LiveJournal.  After all, as Thomas notes, a Harry Potter/pedophilia dispute involving LiveJournal made headlines, and that would make it rather less appealing to advertisers than the average site.

LiveJournal Logo

Also, there’s the matter of LiveJournal’s sale to Russian media corporation SUP, which took place about a year ago.  It’s hard enough for any site to change hands; for it to sort of change countries, as well, has to make survival even more difficult.

We’ll hope that this constitutes a sort of random development, then, rather than a return to the layoff frenzy.

UPDATE: A LiveJournal representative was kind enough to write and say, "LJ laid off about a dozen employees, which is less than 20% of the entire LJ workforce."

An official statement then adds, "LiveJournal Inc. today announced a restructuring of their US and Russian operations to more effectively manage costs in light of the global economic downturn.
LiveJournal Inc.’s headquarters , technical operations (and servers,) legal, administration and the 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 US and Russia will allow the company to build a stronger business model, well positioned to guarantee the long-term success of LiveJournal."