MyFamily Layoffs Give Me an Idea

You’d think that in today’s connected world that when one of the large employers in the state of Utah has a significant reduction in force that it would get reported in the papers or on someone’s blog.

Last Thursday MyFamily.com apparently had a large reduction in force, but I haven’t seen any mention in the Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune or Daily Herald. Here are the recent Daily Herald articles on MyFamily.com.

Using Google’s blogsearch, I found that Dennis Partridge, an Ancestry affiliate, mentioned the MyFamily layoffs in his blog, but that’s the only mention I can find.

I tried Technorati, Feedster, (which was amazingly slow) and Ice Rocket, but didn’t find anything in a cursory scan of search results.

So this latency in company news reaching the outside has given me a great idea, which we will discuss today in our weekly Provo Labs management meeting.

By the way, I’m not currently associated with MyFamily.com (except as a very small minority shareholder), since leaving the company four years ago. I co-founded the company along with Dan Taggart in 1997. (We had launched the Ancestry.com web site in June 1996 and acquired Ancestry publishing company later that year.)

Provo Labs is hiring people to work on content acquisition (and digitization), web development (especially data prep and search), and internet marketing for several of our properties (including Worldhistory.com and LDSMedia, as well as a yet-to-be named genealogy site), so if you know someone who was affected by the layoffs at MyFamily.com, please send them our way. You can submit your resume to Provo Labs online.

9 Comments

  1. Charles Glancy

    I find the news of MyFamily.com’s layoffs very intriguing since they have had 30+ job listings on hotjobs.com for the last 2 months. In fact, hotjobs says 2 job listings were posted today.

  2. Do you really want to hire those who were laid off? I would think it would be better to go after the people that were kept. Of course if you’re a shareholder that would probably cut a little to close for comfort.

  3. Sometimes some of the best people get laid off. I think back to 2000 when I tried to lay down on the railroad tracks to save the jobs of some extremely bright people, but to no avail. Sometimes the people with the most intellectual capital (customer capital, industry knowledge, etc.) lose their jobs for political reasons (they just happen to be in the wrong department, the one getting cut), for reasons of compensation (might be paid too much), or because their intellectual capital isn’t valued as highly as the skills of others who might be more adept at corporate politics and persuasion. Since I happen to think reference librarians are the most undervalued professionals in the U.S., and that genealogists and historians are brilliant people with a great deal to offer the world; and since most enterprises think differently from that, I think there may be some great opportunities here.

  4. Is it possible that this news was overshadowed by the much sexier announcement of bankrupcy of Lovesac?

    You also mention that MyFamily is one of the large employers in Utah. How many people does (did) MyFamily employ? And where would one find numbers for a side-by-side company comparison for that sort of thing?

  5. Paul, what blows my mind is that one of the most profitable companies lays off and restructures
    a marketing department that has proven to be the most productive channel.
    I’m curious what the upshot is. Are they going public soon?

  6. On Companies and Transparency

    Paul, a digg.com-like tool where company information and opinions can be aired from internal and external sources would be incredible. It might allow a real picture of what reality is concerning a company or organization. People would need to blog/pos…

  7. tdd

    Could these layoffs be a way of strengthening costs and looking better as an aquisition? Is it likely that those posted jobs on Hotjobs are for the more ‘Internationally Versed”?
    Lastly, there has been ‘pre-IPO’ chatter around this company for a few years now. Would it make more sense to be acquired from a giant like ….G–gle??

  8. N. Anderson

    Today the big wigs in their Provo location took all the employees into a big meeting and let everyone go except a small contingency of representatives. They have been told that the left over employees will be moved into the corporate offices. Many of management have also been on the chopping block. All jobs (regardless of position) seem to be in jeopardy.

    Their Provo location will be closing it’s doors and only a handful of employees will be keeping their employment. But for how long? Additional lay offs are rumored for February.

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