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Good browser engine devs are very hard to come by. I expect they won't have too much trouble landing on their feet.

Difficult to make it out in the translation but if they laid off engineers good enough to work on Presto they must not be a technology company any more. They must be transitioning to something else entirely, as your technical team is an asset and browser engine engineering requires some skill so you if you had to downsize you probably wouldn't want to get rid of those guys. Although I guess they can't be cheap. But I figure you could sell that team as a division and instead of paying severance you would be making money. I just don't understand what kind of crazy thinking would go into this. Maybe they just had a bad team that was unhappy?

From what I could gather from the article (i read Norwegian) they closed down the Presto department by offering everybody either a move to a different department (mainly mobile and desktop clients) or a severance package. At this point 50-70 people chose to leave. Since then they've also interdependently gotten rid of various other, both technical and non-technical people, for a grand total of 90.

I just don't understand what kind of crazy thinking would go into this.

It sounds like most of the engineers simply didn't want to move from core render engine and javascript interpreter development to more front-end client development.

They did not offer everybody to move to a different department. They did offer a that to a lot of us, but not to everyone. Most of those of us left were offered severance packages (which were said to be voluntary, but AFAICT most of the people who got offered one in the first round took it).

Depending on how they played it, it might have been a "good" way to get rid of employees with a lot of seniority and big pay packages.

Many from the core team have worked there since 1995. They may also have thought that this was a good time to move on to other ventures.

The unemployment rate her in Norway are around 3%[0], and probably 0% among it-engineers, so thus guys will be picked up right away.

0: https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z8o7pt6rd5uqa6_...

My comment was more about the company, and less so about the people. Mass layoffs with severance does not portray the situation as employees choosing to leave.

Remember that the low unemployment in Norway means that it can make sense to take a severance package, and get another job immediately, and thus get 2x pay for months.

Execpt all 90 were not developers. They were marketing, sales, etc. Some were engineers, but it seems they were a minority.

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