While it’s been suggested that MakerBot never lost its startup mentality and has retained its initial charm, stemming from its strong maker community roots, life is sounding pretty corporate over there these days. While the North American front has been the face of change for Stratasys and MakerBot recently, their European offices, no matter how far away, are now not immune to transition and layoffs either.
It would indeed appear that MakerBot Europe is now in the pressure cooker–not to mention under the microscope. Andy Middleton, senior vice president and general manager of Stratasys’s Europe, Middle East, and Asia division, has indicated in latest news, via Motherboard, that the honeymoon is over now for General Manager, Alexander Hafner. Purportedly, Hafner was just laid off after a brief tenure with the company. We interviewed a chipper Hafter just last year, reporting on his new position after Stratasys acquired his company Hafner Büro and renamed it MakerBot Europe.
Operating as a MakerBot reseller for years, the acquisition of Hafner’s business seemed to be a win-win for everyone involved, allowing Europeans an easier route to get their hands on the popular MakerBot line of 3D printers, and setting up a more strategic and concrete presence for the Stratasys subsidiary.
“I want to take this opportunity of thanking Alexander Hafner on behalf of all the MakerBot staff for his past contribution to the business, and wish him all the very best for his personal and professional future,” Middleton wrote in an email, as reported by Motherboard.
It is currently said that Hafner will be replaced by former Stratasys Vice President Andreas Langfeld, who was overseeing Stratasys EMEA.
“I am convinced that these changes and the upcoming integration of our MakerBot business will lead to the next successful chapter in our business and will further accelerate growth for us in this exciting market,” Middleton wrote, according to the email communication reported by Motherboard.
According to sources, Hafner was given notice on Monday. When we interviewed him just this past March, his attitude was upbeat. With enthusiasm, he relayed his general state of excitement regarding transitions at the whole company worldwide, the learning curve being conquered, as well as plans for the future which he outlined in great detail.
While change is often absolutely necessary in the corporate world–and in life in general, MakerBot is under a great deal of scrutiny as an industry favorite that hit it big after being acquired by Stratasys. As changes in CEOs came down the pike with favorite Bre Pettis stepping down and replaced by then Acting CEO Jenny Lawton, the public began to take note. News was made further recently, as Jenny Lawton had barely had time to warm her new seat before Jonathan Jaglom was put into place as the next CEO.
Despite all the ‘transition’ occurring at MakerBot, with the exception of layoffs, those speaking insist everything is just going as planned, with an outline made some time ago as for what would be coming down the line. Despite said strategy and company goals that are ‘just business,’ all of these changes can obviously send up a lot of red flags for the chunk of millennials still working there, as well as beginning to skew customer perception–especially after the debacle with defective extruders in the 5th Generation Replicator flagship 3D printer.
What do you think of the continued transition going on at MakerBot? Do you think these changes will put the company in a better position to thrive both domestically and internationally? Discuss in the MakerBot Europe General Manager is Laid Off forum over at 3DPB.com.Motherboard]