Updated: Yahoo (s YHOO) layoffs have started and they seem to have hit the Flickr team. Many engineers from the service have been either laid off or are leaving on their own. Rev Dan Catt, Ashot Petrosian and Neil Kandalgaonkar were amongst those who tweeted about their exits. Catt, for instance, is moving back to UK. I am told Cal Henderson, Flickr Architect — a rock star developer — has also left, though I have not been able to confirm that. His name is missing from Flickr’s About page , but I don’t want to jump to conclusions. [digg=http://digg.com/tech_news/Flickr_Hit_Hard_By_Yahoo_Layoffs]
I dropped Henderson an email to confirm. He emailed back this morning. “I have left Flickr/Yahoo. I don’t have any plans yet, besides playing lots of video games and enjoying the san francisco summer,” he wrote back. Kara Swisher says he’s is working with Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr, on a new stealthy startup.
Meanwhile check out his presentation about scalable web architectures. Flickr was spared from cuts for a long time but in recent months has been slowly trimming its staff. Frankly, cutting the Flickr team is a bit of a head-scratcher: That group is one of the few pockets of future-thinking tinkerers at Yahoo, especially when it comes to building new media experiences around “social objects” such as photos.
Update#2: We’re hearing that further changes at Yahoo’s Flickr are going to be announced shortly, including exits of some senior/director-level people.