Restructuring at Tucows

Today we made the decision to restructure our business, which reduced our number of employees by roughly 15%. I have just finished an all-hands meeting where I talked about today’s events with our people.

Our thoughts today are with the people who left us. They were our friends and colleagues, each made meaningful contributions to our business and were liked. We offer them our sincere thanks for their hard work and efforts and good wishes for them as they go forward.

We decided to take this step because of the uncertainty of overall economic conditions and the fact that our performance has been impacted by a number of unanticipated challenges during the first nine months of the year, including advertising revenues being dampened by the weakness in the economy and by reduced payouts to the domain channel by Google and Yahoo, which is in turn impacting domain portfolio advertising revenues and especially bulk domain portfolio sales.

I have also never seen a macro economic environment like we are seeing now. I am old enough to have lived through a number of down cycles but there are elements of this one that make it unique and that will take time to work through.

I am immensely proud of the great work our team has done together this year. The product launches of Butterscotch, Hover and Storefront. The brand launches of OpenSRS and YummyNames, and the smooth email migration to our new platform.

We are luckier than most in that what we sell, domain names and email, is more like milk and bread than like cars and refrigerators. We are also luckier than most in that we generate cash and will continue to.

As we look forward to 2009, I believe we have a strong team who will continue to innovate, to work efficiently and maintain our positive momentum. I fundamentally believe that our strength comes from our people and I look forward to working hard together over the coming weeks and months to exceed even our own expectations.

And again, today, our thoughts are with the people who have left.

6 thoughts on “Restructuring at Tucows

  1. Don Kirche

    Hello Elliot,

    Can you give us the details of how TUCOWS will “restructure our business”?

    Thanks much,


  2. Anonymous Coward

    Sad. Blood Tuesday version 2.0. Must be the fault of the economy, surely not the almighty Elliot’s!

  3. Max Ibez

    In my experience, “restructuring” an IT company often means offshoring work to
    code slaves and programming sweatshops in India (Bangalore, Pune, etc.)

    The only real economic concern is for the shareholders pockets as they will never be satisfied with what they have and will always demand more – and of course the CEO will deliver by cutting jobs and the expensive salaries that go with them, replacing them with cut-rate bargain-basement salaries.

    And when they say “our thoughts are with those who left” it’s like a sick joke

  4. Rohan Jayasekera

    I’m one of those “who have left”, and I can assure Tom and Max that I’m fine with being described that way (I suspect that legally “laid off” would be incorrect), that I would be extremely surprised to see any offshoring, and that Elliot is absolutely sincere about “our thoughts”.

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