A warm compliment for Merv Adrian and an interesting comment about the Forrester layoffs

Background:  This text originally came in as a comment to Forrester experiences analyst layoffs. Because of the last line, I did not approve the comment leaving it as a private communication to SageCircle. But I did tweet that someone had sent along a very nice compliment for Merv Adrian. That triggered this comment to the original (and not published) comment:  “Saw your tweet. Oops. sorry. meant keep IP confidential. pls reveal details. =)”  So with that permission from the author, we are now publishing his or her comment. However, rather than a comment I decided to elevate it to a full post. BTW, you can follow Merv Adrian on Twitter at www.twitter.com/merv.

photo-merv-adrian-official-forresterIt is truly sad to say good-bye to co-workers especially during a lay off.. I will miss each person who has left. But it is quite a travesty when you lay off someone who is an icon, someone who makes a big difference in everyone’s lives, and someone who has had the company’s best interest at heart at all times. I have struggled to tell this story about my team and the more I wait, the more I regret it. I must tell. I shall share. I now reveal.So I say this with great conviction: “It is unconscionable for Forrester to lay off Mervyn T. Adrian without a proper explanation to our clients and our employees”

Why?

I was there when we first bought Giga. It was a scary time like now. The Internet bubble had burst. We had finished 2 rounds of layoffs. Our business was tanking. Our stock in the toilet.

When we bought Giga, we were nervous. Our first reaction was who are all these gray hairs? We were all much younger. Why’s everyone a VP? We only had principal analysts as the highest title and there were only 2 or 3 of those. Would we get along with these old farts? They seem crotchety and nerdy. How come they all work from home? We lived in a must show up to HQ culture.

But throughout the acquisition, this bubbly gentleman would reach out. He showed us how to work together. He showed us the value of an inquiry to clients. He showed us the how to collaborate across teams. He would reach out and mentor new analysts. He would tell it to us like Continue reading

Forrester experiences analyst layoffs

SageCircle has received credible intelligence that Forrester Research  initiated a job action resulting in analyst lay offs. We will continue to provide updates as we learn new information.

  • Update – 2/9/09 12:15 pm PT – Initial post. Sent request for confirmation to Forrester’s press office
  • Update – 2/9/09 12:30 pm PT – Context
  • Update – 2/9/09 12:45 pm PT – Details: 111 staff laidoff, 15% of workforce Correction: This number is from the 2001 layoff.
  • Update – 2/9/09 1:10 pm PT – Added analyst to list (see below)
  • Update – 2/9/09 1:52 pm PT — Added analyst to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 1:47 pm PT — Added analyst to list
  • Update – 2/0/09 3:12 pm PT — Added analyst to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 3:45 pm PT — Added Forrester’s official statement
  • Update – 2/9/09 4:02 pm PT — Added two analysts to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 4:31 pm PT — added analyst to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 5:40 pm PT — added two analysts to list
  • Update – 2/9/09 5:55 am PT — Forrester files an SEC form 8-K with the official statement
  • Update – 2/10/10 6:43 am PT — a little perspective on the layoffs
  • Update – 2/10/09 8:40 am PT — Removed an analyst from the list

On Wednesday, February 11th at 8 am PT, Forrester is having its Q4 and FY08 earnings call (see Forrester Research, Inc. Q4 and FY08 earnings call is scheduled – Acquisitions? Layoffs? Something out the ordinary?). As we mentioned in the post it would not be unusual for Forrester to announce job actions or acquisitions close to the day of the earnings call. Something else to remember that layoffs do not mean that an acquisition is not in the works. Forrester could be trimming costs in order to absorb the costs associated with an acquisition.

Added 2/10/09 — While the layoffs feel like 100% to the individuals who were directly impacted, within the context of Forrester’s overall research team the percentage was small. In its 2008 10Q, Forrester indicated that it had 410 research related employees. So far, we have identified eight analysts and researchers or 2% of the team. While this layoffs impacts clients who value those analysts’ advice and insights and the vendors who had invested in educating those analysts, these layoffs do not signal a decrease in Forrester’s influence or viability.

SageCircle has announced a SageCircle Special Webinar: Impact of the Recession on the Analysts and AR – Time for Ruthless Action. In this 90-minute webinar we will look at the last recession in comparison to this recession, the impact of this recession on the analyst ecosystem and what steps analyst relations (AR) programs need to take to ensure that their companies continue to work effectively with the IT and telecommunications analysts.

Official Statement

Sent by Karyl Levinson, Vice President, Corporate Communications

Forrester Announces Workforce Reduction

 Cambridge, Mass., February 9, 2009 . . .

Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) today announced a reduction in force of approximately 50 jobs, or an estimated five percent of its workforce, across various functions and geographies worldwide. This positions the company to compete better in the current economic climate. The company anticipates that it will incur pre-tax expenses of approximately $2.5 to $3 million dollars in the first quarter of 2009, related principally to cash severance and related benefits costs. The company also is evaluating associated facilities-related costs.

“We are grateful for the contributions of Continue reading

Kudos for the Oracle AR about analyst support at OpenWorld

Nice gesture by Forrester’s Merv Adrian (bio, Twitter handle, no blog) to give a shout out to the Oracle AR team.

There is also a serious message here for all AR teams planning an analyst event — don’t try and cut off the analysts from the Internet. While you might want them to Continue reading

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