Oct 8, 2015 | By Kira

Jonathan Jaglom, the hapless yet ever optimistic CEO of MakerBot, today announced that the New York-based 3D printer manufacturing company will be laying off 20 percent of its global staff and making several restructuring changes in an effort to ensure the company’s survival. The announcement was made in a blog post by Jaglom, and comes just six months after the Stratsys-owned company laid off another 20 percent of its employees and closed all of its retail locations.

From promising young startup, to rising star, to one of the most controversial companies in the 3D printing world, MakerBot has taken us for quite the journey. When Jonathan Jaglom was appointed CEO six months ago, he seemed to determined to get the company back on track, embarking on a cross-country tour to personally connect with their partners, customers, and resellers. The company began to focus on targeting the education market, rather than consumers, announced an expansion into Asia Pacific, and just last week, MakerBot spinoff Voodoo Manufacturing launched to (so far) great success. For a while, things seemed to be going just fine.

Storefront sign when MakerBot initially closed its retail locations in April

A worker at the MakerBot Factory

That is, until today. In a post titled ‘MakerBot Reorganizes to Adapt do Market Dynamics and Prepare for the Future,’ Jaglom said that his company had achieved a lot, but ultimately was impacted by the growth and broader challenges of the 3D printing industry. “For the last few quarters, we did not meet our ambitious goals,” he wrote. “In order to lead our dynamic industry, we need to get back to our entrepreneurial spirit and address our fractured organizational structure.”

That ‘entrepreneurial sprit’ means downsizing the company by 20%. They have also brought on two industry veterans in hopes of refocusing the company culture towards its ‘people’ and its ‘3D Ecosystem.’ Kavita Vora, former HR director at HP has been hired as the company’s Chief of People, and Naday Goshen, CEO of emoticon company SweetPacks, will become the new President of MakerBot.

In addition to changes in the workforce, MakerBot will see changes in location. All Research and Development is being moved from Industry City to their corporate headquarters at MetroTech (both in Brooklyn). The MakerBot Factory will remain in Industry City. They will also be hiring an as-of-yet unmade contract manufacturer to produce their 4th generation products to save on costs, and focus the factory team on the current generation of MakerBot 3D printers.

With these announcements, MakerBot faces an uncertain future, however the structural changes were clearly very well thought-through, with the company’s overall health as the ultimate goal. Despite the difficult cuts they have made, it’s hard to vilify Jaglom or any of his team for reacting to the realities of the industry, and doing what is necessary to survive. “We have been working on a plan to move us toward a stronger future,” he wrote. “These decisions were not taken lightly…I remain highly optimistic about MakerBot and I am excited about our future."

Given that MakerBot is one of the most well known names in 3D printing for the general public, thanks to their incredible initial success that introduced many to 3D printing in the first place, any headlines regarding their successes and failures are going to be noticed. How the public responds to the good and bad in today’s news could have implications not only for Replicater 3D printer users, but also for the 3D printing industry at large.



Posted in 3D Printing Company





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dorkmo wrote at 10/13/2015 6:02:07 PM:

i thought going closed source was supposed to help them?

Former loyal customer wrote at 10/9/2015 3:39:52 PM:

Makerbot, here is how you fix your company: Go back to your old extruder and incorporate the fixes provided by your formerly loyal customers. The Replicator 2 was a great printer and you discontinued it! How do you expect to sell units when the things jam up right away? The new extruder is unreliable, and the replace-ability aspect is an obvious scam.

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