“The Austin and San Francisco operations represent part of our investment in new platforms and technologies, and the positions in those offices are therefore fundamentally different from those we eliminated today,” spokesman Jonathan Mudd said Tuesday.
“Some current employees with the appropriate skill sets are indeed relocating to the new offices, but most of the roles there are being filled by new individuals with experience and know-how to support our evolving strategy,” he added.
Those offices are expected to hold a combined 100 employees, the company said. The firm also has product and technology hubs in Harrisonburg, Va.; Boulder, Colo.; and Arlington.
The office in Harrisonburg will be hardest hit by the jobs cuts. A spokesman said the company plans to cut 48 positions there, nine at its headquarters in Rosslyn and the rest in other offices.
Rosetta Stone is hardly the first Washington area company to seek technical talent outside the Beltway. Some start-ups have uprooted from the region altogether in hopes that Silicon Valley, Boston, Austin or other prominent technology hubs offer more fertile pastures.
“By opening offices in Austin and San Francisco — hotbeds for technology with deep talent pools — we are attracting some of the country’s best developers and designers to help us strengthen our platforms and bring innovative new products to market,” chief executive Steve Swad said in a news release.
The company intends to launch its first product for children later this year, as well as intermediate and advanced programs for English language learners, the statement said.
Rosetta Stone counts 1,500 employees who work in offices as far flung as London, Tokyo, Dubai and Sao Paulo.
South by Southwest
District Mayor Vincent C. Gray returned from his economic development trip to South by Southwest in Austin last week without any business deals in hand. But then again, that’s not really how SXSW works.
The annual entertainment and technology festival, like many start-up tech shows, is known for its fluid nature and the almost nonexistent line between work and socialization. There were no formal meetings. No exhibit booth.
“We certainly didn’t go there to close deals or anything like that, but we let people know we were serious” about growing the sector, Gray said.
The visit included a 40-person dinner Saturday night that allowed the mayor’s economic development staff to hear local techies debate whether D.C. lacks venture capitalists or investment-worthy ventures, and how the city’s tech sector can better push for policy changes.
Those reportedly in attendance included Revolution investors Bobby Ocampo and David Hall, Washington Kastles owner and venture capitalist Mark Ein, 1776 co-creater Evan Burfield, Verizon’s Mid-Atlantic Vice President Anthony Lewis and LivingSocial Chief Technology Officer Aaron Batalion, who now lives in San Francisco.