The Axe Falls: Amplify Lays Off 500 Employees


The Axe Falls: Amplify Lays Off 500 Employees

Sep 29, 2015

SOUND OF SILENCE: It’s a sour day for Big Apple’s education technology community as news broke that Amplify has laid off an estimated 800 500 of its 1,200-plus employees.

As first reported by the Observer, Alex Modestou, who worked on the company’s digital math curriculum in the Durham, NC office, received news of the layoff via a conference call with Amplify’s executive team including CEO Joel Klein and Larry Berger, president of the company’s Learning Division. Full-time employees were offered three months’ salary in return for signing a nondisclosure agreement.

The company could not be reached for comment. People familiar with the situation confirmed that this morning’s layoffs affected mostly rank-and-file employees but that there are no changes to the executive leadership.

Since News Corporation announced its intention to sell Amplify in August 2015, rumors had swirled among employees that a massive round of layoffs was imminent—even as early as last week, according to a source.

Of Amplify’s many divisions and product lines, it is not clear which was the most affected by the layoffs. But the axe likely fell hardest on the teams producing tablets—the company announced it would stop producing them—and digital curriculum, whose “sales haven’t moved as fast as we initially hoped,” Klein stated in July. Amplify sold its computer science MOOC in July.

Editor's Note: The post originally said Amplify laid off 800 employees, based on numbers shared by the Observer. A closer source to the layoffs says the exact number is closer to 500.

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