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Summary:

Rumors hit the web yesterday that Akimbo laid off nearly all of its staff, save for the executives. A spokesperson for the company has confirmed that there were layoffs, but could not provide specific numbers. The rep did say that the layoffs were focused on legacy […]

Rumors hit the web yesterday that Akimbo laid off nearly all of its staff, save for the executives. A spokesperson for the company has confirmed that there were layoffs, but could not provide specific numbers. The rep did say that the layoffs were focused on legacy aspects of the business like content aggregation, and that currently, additional dismissals weren’t expected to be made.

UPDATE: Akimbo laid off approximately 10 people from content operations, QA engineering and admin. We’re also told that the CTO has brought in a new team, so a few folks have been hired over the last couple of weeks and the staff headcount is now at 20 people. The layoffs were said to be reflective of the company’s shift in focus.

Akimbo recently changed course to become a white-label video provider — the last resort for companies with failed video business plans.

Given the company’s revolving-door business model (set-top box maker, content services, now white-label video) and its former CEO leaving to become a VC, Akimbo layoffs don’t come as a big surprise. The company raised $4 million earlier this year, bringing its total funding to $47 million.

We’ve pinged Akimbo’s CEO Thomas Frank for more details, and will update the story as we get them.

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  1. Well, this is just a standard economical behaviour. If employees do not generate any profit to the company it is a natural step to lay them off. Laid off employees are unfortunate but at least they have a change to start a new career somewhere else.

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  2. Former Employee Sunday, May 4, 2008

    As a former employee, it is sad to hear that Akimbo is struggling. From the set-top box, to MCE, to a direct web-browser viewing client to white label, Akimbo has tried many different ways to break into the market. I wish them great luck on their latest iteration. The folks that were there when I was were, by in large, a treat to work with and all were very knowledgeable. Getting quality content is always a challenge and even when you have it — getting the message out that you do is a challenge, too. The AT&T deal with Homezone was a huge hope for all at the company. Perhaps something can still materialize despite the loss of talent. I have greater doubts than hope right now but there is a little hope. Good luck Akimbo!

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  3. Former Employee Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Actually, to comment on Vembl’s post — the issue here is not that employees were not generating money — it was the management not generating any revenue. The business plan at Akimbo has never been very viable with the latest incarnation being even more suspect than before. Revenues never paid for salary at the company and they still don’t. Revenue never covered the exec salaries at all — who should be let go in a case like this?

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  4. [...] this thing will never really get off the ground in a big way. We’ve seen this movie before, it was called Akimbo. Remember the Akimbo box that was going to revolutionize how we watched TV? So why will the Netflix [...]

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  5. having been there for three years, there was never a viable business plan and/or direction and this was due to the management, NOT the employees! Let’s face the facts: Akimbo starts off as a video service with no real plan except IVOD- they then become a hardware developer (huh?) and then decide to become an aggregator(bigger,huh?) None of the ventures ever succeeded in any fashion, what-so-ever! So let’s be clear, the employees were knowledgeable,smart,team players and willing to burn the midnight oil, day after day, night after night, week after week and so on… the management engaged in a popular Mexican past-time refered to as a , cock fight. use your imagination,folks!
    Anyhow, i’m sad to see it go and i wish that there was more substance to elaborate on, but unfortuntely, there just is not.

    R.I.P. Akimbo

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  6. [...] were more pressing signs of trouble recently as the company laid off 10 people earlier this [...]

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  7. [...] this thing will never really get off the ground in a big way. We’ve seen this movie before, it was called Akimbo. Remember the Akimbo box that was going to revolutionize how we watched TV? So why will the Netflix [...]

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