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Author Topic: Layoffs at istock  (Read 109076 times)

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« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2012, 23:12 »
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I doubt their profit is falling. It will in future but for now it is less business (and getting more so) but with higher margins due to decreased costs. They now pay less in royalties and less for operations. I suspect the prgrammers aren't paid much.
I think it probably is. Maybe not on a per image basis, but overall their profit is driven by sales and I suspect the number of Vetta and Agency sales dropped significantly when the price filter was put in which would have dropped profits.

Do the programmers deserve to be paid much? Perhaps if they were well paid ones we would have all the problems on the site? Not that higher pay guarantees competency.


« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2012, 23:24 »
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I doubt their profit is falling. It will in future but for now it is less business (and getting more so) but with higher margins due to decreased costs. They now pay less in royalties and less for operations. I suspect the prgrammers aren't paid much.


Some of us were talking about that just the other day...

http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/end-of-year-is-review-statistics/msg237820/#msg237820

Getty's track record doesn't give me any reason to hold out hope IS will ever improve.  Maybe my experience with StockXpert has left me cynical, but I can't help but think they are actually trying to push out all the contributors so they can use the brand name iStockphoto for older Getty images they wholly own.  They get 100% of the royalties for those images and minimal labor is involved.  Moving Getty images onto iStock is cheap and efficient.       


That is a frightening theory that I had not yet heard of.


A very valid theory. Check this out: Dorian Kindersley.

From Wikipedia: "Dorling Kindersley (DK) is an international publishing company specializing in illustrated reference books for adults and children in 51 languages. It is currently part of the Penguin Group.
Established in 1974, Dorling Kindersley publishes a range of titles in genres including travel, (including Eyewitness Travel Guides), history, cooking, gardening, and parenting. They also publish a childrens catalogue for children, toddlers and babies, covering such topics as history, the human body, animals, and activities.
DK has offices in New York, London, Munich, New Delhi, Toronto, and Australia."

Clearly, they're not an individual istock illustrator who just happened to get all their images approved to Getty's Agency collection. The images started at Getty and then were moved to Istock.

Istock portfolio link: http://www.istockphoto.com/Dorling_Kindersley

Getty portfolio link: http://www.gettyimages.com/Creative/Frontdoor/DorlingKindersleyRM

« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2012, 23:56 »
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Am I the only one who kinda really does not feel that sorry for them if I am being totally honest? I mean they hung with the evil empire - in their tweets they talk about shutting their mouths when they saw bad stuff happening - I know the economy sucks and maybe finding jobs will be harder but if they sat back and watched the contributors get screwed and kept their mouth shuts and continued to work for them regardless when others (see Rob S) left as a matter of principle - sorry but you kinda get what you deserve no? Am I just cold hearted and harsh? 

« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2012, 23:57 »
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A Twitter post from six hours ago says there were 30 layoffs.  I don't know how big the company is, how many they employ.  Is that a lot?

I can't find that twitter post, might have been deleted.

---------------------------
last time I counted, which was more than a year ago, I found about 90 admin badges.  That of course did not count many back office people (accounting, sales, legal, HR) who don't typically post much, so the number would be somewhat higher.  I would guess 150 or so total employees not counting inspectors.

RacePhoto

« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2012, 00:07 »
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A Twitter post from six hours ago says there were 30 layoffs.  I don't know how big the company is, how many they employ.  Is that a lot?

I can't find that twitter post, might have been deleted.

---------------------------
last time I counted, which was more than a year ago, I found about 90 admin badges.  That of course did not count many back office people (accounting, sales, legal, HR) who don't typically post much, so the number would be somewhat higher.  I would guess 150 or so total employees not counting inspectors.

And I may have missed it along these three pages, but StockXpert staff had already been responding from the IS offices. Could be some of those people were no longer needed. They were IS employees. At any rate, looks like consolidation and more work for the people who are left.

I remember the same things going on at Chevrolet when it went to GM and BOC (a bunch of centralized positions also at the HQ eliminating people at the plants) as they tightened their belts. Staff leader and his assistant, each with support people, became, a one person with one secretary department.

People are a huge expense for any operation.

« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2012, 00:09 »
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Am I the only one who kinda really does not feel that sorry for them if I am being totally honest? I mean they hung with the evil empire - in their tweets they talk about shutting their mouths when they saw bad stuff happening - I know the economy sucks and maybe finding jobs will be harder but if they sat back and watched the contributors get screwed and kept their mouth shuts and continued to work for them regardless when others (see Rob S) left as a matter of principle - sorry but you kinda get what you deserve no? Am I just cold hearted and harsh? 
I get where you're coming from, but I have to admit that I've worked at jobs that I totally didn't believe in and were against my principles, because there weren't, at the times, any options, and I needed the job.  It eats away at you, you lose some self-respect -- but you also do what you have to do.  So if they weren't in a position that they could leave on principle -- and it's a lousy economy to do so -- I get that, and I feel for how they must have felt about it.  :(  

« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2012, 00:17 »
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Quote
I get where you're coming from, but I have to admit that I've worked at jobs that I totally didn't believe in and were against my principles, because there weren't, at the times, any options, and I needed the job.  It eats away at you, you lose some self-respect -- but you also do what you have to do.  So if they weren't in a position that they could leave on principle -- and it's a lousy economy to do so -- I get that, and I feel for how they must have felt about it.  :(  

Very well put, don't demonize the gears of the machine when the brain controller has got them cornered. In this economy I am sure many admins just avoided any confrontation to keep that paycheck. I can't blame them.

I know of many back end people over the years that have given their full effort to their jobs at iStock and if any of them are affected by this then... I am in solidarity and in support for them to find a job soon. Nothing is as black and white as it seems on the surface; plus we have no info only speculation at best right now.

« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2012, 00:18 »
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I think for HQ it is. The number 100 (give or take) sticks in my mind for some reason.

It's more than double that.

« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2012, 00:24 »
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I wonder if those laid off received some type of "golden parachute" offer of a bonus to not trash-talk iS in return?

No doubt they all have to sign confidentiality agreements.

« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2012, 00:34 »
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if they just had better programmers. It could have been fully automated. Get rid of all the people, cut royalties, accept photos with no review cost, get partners agencies to sell the photos for you... Oh well the plan is almost working. Hope they keep the red hot team that stops fraud and the team that refunds customers so easilly , or maybe that part is automated???

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #60 on: January 18, 2012, 00:34 »
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fabulous. nothing breeds confidence like layoffs.....happy 2012

ETA: saw someone already posted the tweet by Tyler Hellard. guess we wait and see what's in store. sigh
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 00:50 by SNP »

« Reply #61 on: January 18, 2012, 01:47 »
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Doesn't bode well. Looks as if the doomsayers have been right all along.

My sympathy to the victims.

« Reply #62 on: January 18, 2012, 01:51 »
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Lightening the staff costs before the sale ???

Everybodies been talking about this sale. When's it going to happen ?

Nobody wants/likes being laid off. Hope everything goes okay for those now looking for work.
I wouldn't put I was in charge of the Istock search code on my resume though

« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2012, 02:02 »
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Quote
I get where you're coming from, but I have to admit that I've worked at jobs that I totally didn't believe in and were against my principles, because there weren't, at the times, any options, and I needed the job.  It eats away at you, you lose some self-respect -- but you also do what you have to do.  So if they weren't in a position that they could leave on principle -- and it's a lousy economy to do so -- I get that, and I feel for how they must have felt about it.  :(  

Very well put, don't demonize the gears of the machine when the brain controller has got them cornered. In this economy I am sure many admins just avoided any confrontation to keep that paycheck. I can't blame them.

I know of many back end people over the years that have given their full effort to their jobs at iStock and if any of them are affected by this then... I am in solidarity and in support for them to find a job soon. Nothing is as black and white as it seems on the surface; plus we have no info only speculation at best right now.

Well said by both of you.  This is a major turning point in IS's history.  The least we can do is be supportive of those who worked so hard on our behalf and just lost their jobs.

lagereek

« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2012, 02:04 »
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This is what I said some months back, once Getty had done their business, the staff is expendible. Its always been like that, since 93, in fact. Im pretty sure that any layoffs, are not the once responsible for the fall of IS, rather the opposite, they probably fought our battles.

« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2012, 02:35 »
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Layoffs really suck - obviously worst for those laid off, but it's a pretty horrible situation at the company after your friends have been let go. It's hard to focus on what needs to get done, or be motivated about anything. You can't blame the rank-and-file for the crappy policies of those running the show, so I do feel for those let go (on the assumption that it wasn't any of the mangers setting the polcies :))

Given that management (using the term in its loosest sense) at iStock hasn't been saying anything much since the Getty suit took over, I can't imagine they'll tell contributors squat now, but it'd be interesting to know where (what departments) the layoffs occurred. Was this a small percentage across the board or were some departments eliminated or significantly cut back. At this point my only remaining decision is whether or not I keep my portfolio there, so I'm relatively lightly affected, but for those still exclusive, I can't imagine this is encouraging news.

CarlssonInc

« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2012, 02:41 »
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All very sad for the people who lost their jobs, but we don't know anything about the circumstances. Not even the number of people being laid off nor what their jobs entailed, could all be project related for a canceled project or perhaps overlap from previous Getty M&As? I can only presume that for a fragmented organization like Getty there will be plenty of opportunities for financial streamlining by trying to centralize common tasks (admin, finance, legal, tech, support etc.)

As sad as it is, iStock like all and any businesses should be kept lean and mean unfortunately then any excess needs to be trimmed.

« Reply #67 on: January 18, 2012, 03:25 »
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Im pretty sure that any layoffs, are not the once responsible for the fall of IS, rather the opposite, they probably fought our battles.

+1

Frankly, it's silly to blame workers for the sins of the management. If every worker quit in protest the moment their company did something they thought was unfair, immoral or unethical there would be bugger-all companies still in business and nobody would have a job.  People need to work to feed their families and pay the mortgage, that's the priority in life, not protecting suppliers who are free to stop supplying any time they like.

My sympathy to those unfortunate enough to have got the axe.

« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2012, 03:32 »
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Interesting news, at least they waited until after Christmas for staff cuts. I wonder if Istock HQ will eventually shut down in Calgary and move to Seattle much like Veer did (within 2-4 years). If Getty is going to control istock it might as well go all the way. I still think the F5 website change was the result of Getty being hands on for coding so it could upload most of it's own content. That's why you're getting so many bugs, its hard to fix things when you have corporate HQ in Seattle adjusting/tweaking things as well. Add to that istock's programmers trying to keep up and you'll have problems. And we still haven't heard from Rebecca Rockefeller what's planned for 2012. I think they are trying to fix all of the website bugs so she can give us all a "good news" announcement. Wait and see...

« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2012, 04:36 »
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It strikes me that the people in Canada have, indeed, just heard from the elusive Ms Rockefeller and her MBA theories.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 05:03 by BaldricksTrousers »

rubyroo

« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2012, 04:51 »
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My sympathies also to those who have lost their jobs.  I've worked in companies too where a takeover meant getting what they wanted and then stabbing people in the back.  The only thing that made me feel better in retrospect was that the 'favoured' ones who selfishly sat grinning like a Cheshire Cat as notices were handed out to others also ended up being fired further down the line.  That's usually the way it goes.  

Thanks for all the work you did that helped us to sell our wares, and I wish you all the very best in finding new roles that you love.

« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2012, 05:03 »
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As I don't know who was fired I cannot say if it's really bad news. IMO there were a lot of incompetent staff there, especially in IT department and communication/contributors relation team.
Maybe, even if I'm almost sure of the contrary, Getty wants to save IS, make customers and contributors happy?

rubyroo

« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2012, 05:10 »
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Perhaps I'm missing something, but I've really struggled to understand what purpose iStock serves in the long-term for Getty.

If the expensive images are sold at Getty, and the cheap stuff goes to Thinkstock, then does it make sense to keep a separate agency for something called 'mid-stock' and for PPDs?  Surely they can just absorb a 'mid-stock' tier into Getty and make PPDs available on TS etc.

« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2012, 05:12 »
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As I don't know who was fired I cannot say if it's really bad news. IMO there were a lot of incompetent staff there, especially in IT department and communication/contributors relation team.
Maybe, even if I'm almost sure of the contrary, Getty wants to save IS, make customers and contributors happy?
If they wanted to do that, wouldn't they be employing better staff instead of just laying people off?  This looks like another cost cutting exercise, perhaps to make it easier to merge istock in to Getty at a later date.

I would like to think they are getting ready to sell istock but how would they sort out all the istock content on other Getty sites and the Getty content in the istock collections?  They might sell Getty with istock but I can't see how they can split them up now.

lagereek

« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2012, 05:37 »
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As I don't know who was fired I cannot say if it's really bad news. IMO there were a lot of incompetent staff there, especially in IT department and communication/contributors relation team.
Maybe, even if I'm almost sure of the contrary, Getty wants to save IS, make customers and contributors happy?
If they wanted to do that, wouldn't they be employing better staff instead of just laying people off?  This looks like another cost cutting exercise, perhaps to make it easier to merge istock in to Getty at a later date.

I would like to think they are getting ready to sell istock but how would they sort out all the istock content on other Getty sites and the Getty content in the istock collections?  They might sell Getty with istock but I can't see how they can split them up now.

Yup!  and who is going to buy it?  Santa! ;D


 

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