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Summary:

Video chatting startup TokBox, which we’ve covered extensively, let go six of its 23 employees this week to help the company “realize [its] vision” and is “actively recruiting for talent” to fill the open spots. What does that mean? Tokbox didn’t say, but it curiously emphasized […]

tokboxlogoVideo chatting startup TokBox, which we’ve covered extensively, let go six of its 23 employees this week to help the company “realize [its] vision” and is “actively recruiting for talent” to fill the open spots. What does that mean? Tokbox didn’t say, but it curiously emphasized that the departures were not the result of “layoffs.” Instead, it was a specific move to help CEO Ian Small’s plans take shape, the company said.

We also learned that co-founder Ron Hose left the company in May to “pursue other opportunities.” But TokBox doesn’t appear to have updated its management page, where he’s still listed as founder and CTO. However, the TokBox user profile link on Hose’s personal home page isn’t active anymore. A ToxBox representative told us no founders remain at the company.

The full email from the company is below:

Yes, we did make some changes to the team yesterday.

As you know, we are committed to delivering the simplest multi-party video chat and video message service on the Web.  Under the leadership of our new CEO, Ian Small, we are developing exciting plans for the user experience that will enable us to further fuel TokBox’s growth. As part of developing those plans, we took a hard look at the talent and resources needed to realize our vision.

As a result, we did terminate the employment of six engineers. It is important to note that this was not a layoff; it was a specific move designed to help us realize our vision, and  we are now actively recruiting for talent to replace those roles, as well as a few more roles that will help strengthen our team and enable us to deliver against our full potential. You can see all these roles on our jobs page http://www.tokbox.com/view/jobs

As of today we are 17 employees.  The only recent hires at the C-level are Ian Small, CEO, and Yang Cao, VP Engineering, both of whom joined at the beginning of May.

  1. Nothing personal, but, an engineer becoming CEO is not a good move. Sorry! Unless, of course he is interim because their technology is so screwed up.

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    1. Hank: Specifically why do you think their technology is screwed up?

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      1. 1) he said “if” it is not that it is and
        2) You don’t fire 6 engineers and recruit replacements if you think the technology is rocking (unless you intend to utilize very different skillsets in the same positions – in which case you could have laid them off and eliminated THOSE positions, creating others).

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  2. this is total spin. add them to the deadpool!

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  3. [...] and initiatives but with recent news that they’ve laid off 50% of their engineering staff (about 30% of their total staff) and the fact that all of the founders have left the company is a kick-in-the-groin type of [...]

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  4. [...] future’s hold, tenuous, at best, the new people, new ideas, the test, many so now have gone without, from this box so pours fresh [...]

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  5. [...] I was sad to read that the company let go 23 of its employees recently according to Jordan Golson at GIGAOM dot com. One major move was also cited within this article about one of the company’s [...]

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  6. Yes, add Tokbox to the deadpool.

    This clearly isn’t going to get a super-duper exit, heck, that should’ve been clear from the start.

    The fire engineers are probably better off in a company that actually has a future.

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  7. [...] past, with multiple CEO changes and a round of restructuring about 18 months ago. While the team cut six employees last year, it is growing again, with 21 employees now and five open positions. But it’s now placing its [...]

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