en

The VICE Channels

    ​Image: MakerBot

    MakerBot Just Laid Off 20 Percent of Its Staff

    Written by

    Jordan Pearson

    Staff Writer (Canada)

    When MakerBot, the Brooklyn-based 3D printing company, became a subsidiary of 3D printing giant Stratasys, Inc. in 2013, everyone expected there would be changes.

    Today, MakerBot has fired roughly 20 percent of its staff. Figures from 2014 placed the company’s ranks at 500, meaning the cuts could equate to roughly 100 employees. The orders came from new CEO Jonathan Jaglom, Motherboard was told. 

    “It’s about 20 percent of staff,” a MakerBot representative, who asked not to be identified because she had not received approval to speak to the press, told Motherboard. “Everyone suspected that something would be coming with the new CEO, and that there would be restructuring coming.”

    Employees are apparently being led out of the company’s Brooklyn office by security today, according to ​an anonymous Reddit post.

    The reasoning for the layoffs, the employee told Motherboard, is that MakerBot is looking to integrate further with Stratasys, its parent company, and is streamlining its operation to further that end.

    “It’s consolidating with Stratasys, so it’s economies of scale and looking at duplicate positions and consolidating,” the employee said. “We have a new CEO, so he has a different plan in mind,” she said, crying. “I’m sorry, it’s a hard day.”

    MakerBot was founded in 2009 by Bre Pettis and quickly rose to prominence as one of the few companies pushing 3D printing to market. The company was purchased by Stratasys for $403 million in 2013, and Pettis stepped down as CEO to lead an “innovation workshop” at Stratasys. His successor, Jenny Lawton, also moved to Stratasys this year. That’s when Jaglom took over. He is the first MakerBot CEO to come from Stratasys. 

    ​UPDATE: MakerBot has published an official statement that confirmed the layoffs, as well as announced the closing of all three of the company's retail stores. Here is an excerpt from the post, which can be read in full on ​the company's website:

    ​"Today, we at MakerBot are re-organizing our business in order to focus on what matters most to our customers. As part of this, we have implemented expense reductions, downsized our staff and closed our three MakerBot retail locations.

    With these changes, we will focus our efforts on improving and iterating our products, growing our 3D ecosystem, shifting our retail focus to our national partners and expanding our efforts in the professional and education markets."