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Scoop: Job Cuts at PHP Startup Zend Could Be Aimed With An Eye Towards a Sale

Erick Schonfeld
TechCrunch.com
Monday, May 19, 2008 8:09 PM

Israeli startup Zend Technologies has fired 25 percent of its R&D team (at least ten people), as well as others across the company, in an attempt to become cash flow positive, says a source close to the company. Zend offers its own distribution of PHP, the popular open-source scripting language for Web applications. It sells software and support services around that (just as Red Hat does with its distribution of Linux). We have an e-mail out to the company asking for a comment.

Update: A spokesperson from the company's PR firm says: "Yes, I can confirm that Zend made the layoffs, but we cannot comment on the numbers or reasons for the action."

The job cuts could be an attempt to pretty itself up for a sale. Back in 2006, Oracle wanted to buy it for $100 million to $200 million. It might still be interested. IBM, which already one of Zend's strategic partners, might also want to take a look.

Another partner is Microsoft, which has already integrated Zend into Windows Server. Thanks to Zend, programmers who don't want to be bothered with .Net can use PHP instead to create applications that run on Windows Server. If Microsoft ever buys Yahoo, picking up Zend would make even more sense since Yahoo is littered with PHP apps.

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