August 20, 2001

Win4Lin is still going strong, despite large layoffs, says CTO

Author: JT Smith

- by Tina Gasperson -
NeTraverse, the company that brings us Win4Lin, is alive and healthy, even if considerably leaner than a month ago, says CTO Morgan Jones. And yes, the company has made extensive staff cutbacks, but rumors circulating on the 'Net that claim NeTraverse laid off 90% of its team are untrue, he adds.NeTraverse is perhaps best known in the Linux community as the creator of Win4Lin, a software product that allows Windows-based programs to be run in Linux. The company also produces NeTraverse Server, which is a network version of Win4Lin that allows companies to continue to use their Windows products over a Linux network.

The popular rumor mill site F***edCompany.com posted a terse paragraph this morning:

"Linux isn't happening these days. NeTraverse,
maker of the 'popular' Win4Lin product, fired all but about 5 people out
of 50."

"I've traced the source of those rumors," says Jones. "I believe they are coming from a competitor." Jones refused to identify which competitor is spreading the rumors. He says that NeTraverse has been very careful to maintain good relationships with those employees it's had to let go. "We tried to let everyone down as easily as possible. We've had to be very selective in who we kept. Some of those who were laid off were very good employees. We want to be able to ask them to come back when things get better."

In response to investors' concerns about the profitability of the company, NeTraverse management ended up letting go about 60% of the former staff of 50 people. "We have 22 employees as of today," says Jones. "We made cuts across the board, including at the management level, but have maintained our engineering and customer support departments."

NeTraverse has also closed two of its three offices, in Raleigh, N.C., and Santa Cruz, Calif. One office in Austin, Texas, remains open for business. "NeTraverse was a small company to have three offices to begin with," says Jones. "It got to the point that our investors were saying, 'we don't think you need these offices,' and we had to agree." About 10 employees were offered telecommuting positions instead of being laid off.

The layoffs were done in stages over the last two weeks, says Jones, so that he could travel from Texas to the remote offices and speak to people face-to-face. "It would be rude to do it any other way."

Jones is optimistic about NeTraverse's future and says that it is business as usual. "We've kept enough of the staff that we are alive and healthy and energized. I've been overwhelmed by the [remaining] team's response. Everyone is pitching in and doing extra work. They will make it possible for us to continue."

Jones says the company is planning a new release of Win4Lin in the next couple of months.

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