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Canonical to Cut Jobs, Axe Unprofitable Projects

Company is shifting to more efficient operating mode

mark shuttleworthJobs are to go at Canonical as the company looks to pull itself into fitter financial shape for the future.

The company is laying off as much as half of its Unity 8 team, and relocating remaining members to other positions within the company.

It follows yesterdays news that Ubuntu will no longer develop convergence, the Unity 8 UI, or Ubuntu phone.

‘Shuttleworth suggests the cuts are necessary to make the company more attractive to outside investors’

In conversation with The Register in which the layoffs were revealed, Mark Shuttleworth suggests the cuts are necessary to make the company more attractive to outside investors.

“In a very cold commercial sense, we have to bring those numbers into line and that leads to headcount changes. One of those pieces I could not bring into line was Unity,” he says.

“We can’t go through that market process and ask for outside investor money when there’s something [as big as Unity] that doesn’t have a revenue story. That’s the pinch we got into.” he says.

Job losses are expected in other areas of the company — possibly as high as 60% in some departments — as Canonical shutters unprofitable and loss-making projects and technologies.

But it’s not all gloom.

Canonical is looking to sustain and even grow the number of employees it has in security, cloud, and IoT. Support and consultancy positions are also expected to remain largely intact.

“Rather than cut now and hire, it made sense to keep people now,” Shuttleworth said. “If we want to be inline immediately we have do this. We are growing we will be in line in a quarter.”

Canonical is currently a private company and, based on accounts filed at Companies House, has a staff of almost 500. It made an operating loss of £3.3million last year.