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Flickr Hit Hard by Yahoo Layoffs

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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=]

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.

66 Responses to “Flickr Hit Hard by Yahoo Layoffs”

  1. Guess that some of the social media platform really need the manpower to get up and running, and once they feel they are there, they let people go….and then the “people” of social media take on the workload to grow it for them without being on payroll :)

  2. Will Hunting

    I really feel bad about Flickr engineers being laid off. And also for so many other yahoo engineers from so many other yahoo properties.
    Yahoo’s management is responsible for the bad shape of Yahoo. It did had great engineers (obviously that’s no more the case. People don’t want to stay in a company which does layoffs every quarter and no one has any idea on who gets laid off.)
    What I wonder is why do they fire engineers when the fault lies somewhere. And people who are responsible are still having a good time at Yahoo while those who worked hard building their products are gone.
    When the whole ship has been rusted what good does it do to just change the steering.
    Yahoo has been really good at getting things all messed up and wrong.It’s not just the CEO who can change things. The whole management needs to change – at least till the senior manager level, they have all been corrupted by the old culture. And I do wonder if Jerry could not do anything about it what magic Carol can do, except may be attempt to sell it again.(That’s the easiest way to change the whole management).And they need to sell it quickly before every Yahoo engineer worth his/her salt has already joined MS or Google.

  3. That really sucks, I love Flickr, I don’t use anything else that Yahoo owns. I hope Yahoo gets their act together and does something useful, they don’t seem to have much of a vision anymore – they just limp along like a wounded animal.

  4. this is the story of almost every second company, layoffs are not new now-a-days, time has changed now there applies Darwin’s theory i.e, “survival of fittest” unless market condition will improve you will say nothing..

  5. Recession has come as God sent for organizations looking at trimming their work force. It could be a blessing in disguise for these people too with their careers taking an altogether new approach. I agree with AccessFirefox about Y! services and prices. To top it, they have a DISMAL customer service which does not even pretend to reply to queries about hosting and site builder queries. Maybe they are not making as much money from these services as they would have liked to. Maybe we will see closure of these services soon…

    Manish Pahuja

  6. Charlie

    “few pockets of future-thinking tinkerers ”

    Surely you jest! Most of the good people already abandoned ship last year. Flickr members, such as Neil Kandalgaonkar, were not part of the group originally, but came onboard from other areas of Yahoo that were flagging. Let’s not over-glorify the loss of talent.