MakerBot lays off 20 percent of its staff and closes its three retail locations

MakerBot Boston retail store
MakerBot, one of the most recognizable names in the world of 3D printing, has laid off 20 percent of its staff in one fell swoop. The company is calling the move a “reorganization” to better align to what matters most to its customers. An anonymous MakerBot employee is calling it the unsurprising outcome of cold-hearted business consolidation.

The Brooklyn-based 3D printing company gave the boot to about 20 percent of its staff on Friday, according to an anonymous MakerBot employee. A Chicago Tribune profile of MakerBot founder Bre Pettis published in October 2014 noted the company had more than 500 employees, which would mean this round of layoffs involved about 100 employees, according to Motherboard.

That math is backed up by Reddit user Prints-Charming, who said about 100 employees were escorted out of the Brooklyn complex by private security. In a comment, the user said the layoffs hit employees in manufacturing, production, testing, quality, printing, and mechanical engineering.

In late 2013, Stratasys purchased MakerBot for $403 million in stock and $201 million in “performance-based earn-outs.” Jonathan Jaglom, who was appointed as MakerBot’s new CEO in February, ordered the layoffs, Motherboard reported.

MakerBot staff“Everyone suspected that something would be coming with the new CEO, and that there would be restructuring coming,” said the anonymous MakerBot employee.

“It’s consolidating with Stratasys, so it’s economies of scale and looking at duplicate positions and consolidating,” the tearful employee told Motherboard. “We have a new CEO, so he has a different plan in mind.”

In addition to the layoffs, MakerBot has decided to close its three retail locations in New York; Boston; and Greenwich, Connecticut.

“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,” according to the company’s blog post.

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