Layoffs at Intuit are under way (apparently this happened in June and 575 people were let go). Approximately 600 people will be let go. “We invest where the puck is going to be”, said Brad Smith, Intuit’s CEO. He plans to reinvest whatever savings accrue from the cuts into online software initiatives.
The maker of QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Quicken personal finance software is being ravaged by a host of small niche players offering free web based applications, featuring slick designs, community portals, online user interaction, and other social media features. In fact, the company has built several Facebook widgets, including one that offers tax tips.
Online versions of their software grew 27% last year compared to just 7% for their PC based products. Intuit is not the only company getting hit; in fact, Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on desktop versions of its personal finance software and is working on releasing a web only version.
Smith, a first time CEO, is meeting with tech industry icons to bring the company into the internet age. He met with Hewlett-Packard CEO, Mark Hurd, whose company is laying off 25,000 or 7% of its workforce and now, Intuit is laying off 7% of its workforce. He met with Sheryl Sandberg, COO, at Facebook whose job is to increase the time users spend on Facebook and thus, increase ad revenue. Soon Intuit released Facebooks apps and widgets. Then, he met with Google and was told that employees there spend 10% of their time on personal projects; now Intuit engineers spend 10% of their time on personal projects. The result: Intuit is planning on releasing a social network on cell phones around your banking activity. Finally, he met with former Adobe Systems CEO, Bruce Chizen, to talk about enacting rapid change without driving employees crazy.
My advice: don’t believe everything your hear. Focus on your core product, deeper specialization and SaaS enablement to start. The 10% that Google employees get is simply a myth. It is a recruiting tactic with an entire PR department dedicated to perpetuating it. Only a few employees have that privilege. The daily barrage of product releases at Google are aimed at diversifying the company revenue stream and reduce its dependence on online advertising. So far, it has not worked.Channels: intuit, layoffs, Social Media