Six months ago, when Jonathan Jaglom stepped up to take on the role of CEO at MakerBot, a subsidiary of Stratasys, we knew there would be some changes in store. We at 3DPrint.com have followed carefully to see what those changes would be–from the February announcement to April with his first speech as CEO in 3D Print Week NY and presenting the keynote at Inside 3D Printing NY–and just how they would impact not only fans of the Replicator 3D printer line who use the machines at home, but also the wider-reaching implications across the industry and what that means to those within the company itself. One of the earliest changes the company made following its restructuring in April was to lay off 20% of the workforce and close all three retail locations, as MakerBot sought to tighten focus on the core values and growth strategy possible given lackluster year-over-year results that had been seen at the time.
In May, Jaglom took the time to talk with 3DPrint.com about his views regarding the company’s restructuring. At the time, when asked about the layoffs, Jaglom was candid with us, explaining that, “The recent layoffs were painful, but they were necessary.” He also assured us that while the decision to lay off significant amounts of long-time staff was a difficult one, they were not expected to continue in the near future.
News from MakerBot seemed to rise in tone following the pessimistic vibe given from a major layoff, as the summer led to Jaglom’s tour around the US to see for himself the reach of MakerBot’s operations and impacts. Jaglom noted that what he saw in schools around the country ‘blew his mind like it hasn’t been in years,’ as he saw first-hand the benefits of STEM education and what 3D printers in schools could offer students. Furthermore, the company saw its capabilities considerably enhanced when in July they doubled production capacity with a new 170,000-square-foot factory in Brooklyn. Things seemed to be looking up for the company.
Today, Jaglom and MakerBot are stepping up with another announcement to further their vision. In a blog post titled “MakerBot Restructures to Adapt to Market Dynamics, Refocus and Prepare for the Future,” Jaglom breaks some news regarding the recent history of and the future plans for his company.
The high points of the announcement include the great news that Jaglom has been truly evaluating and working to actively understand MakerBot’s purpose as a company and how best to achieve that vision in a way that gets down to the basics and builds from a strong foundation built on its team. By centralizing its operations–bringing R&D to corporate HQ in Downtown Brooklyn and focusing on the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem–the company will be able to provide a laser focus to its day-to-day functionality.
The low points, however, are worrisome, as Jaglom announces another significant round of layoffs, with a 20% reduction in global staffing.
Somewhere between high and low points are those that strike a more uncertain tone for now. MakerBot’s fourth-generation line of Replicator 2X 3D printers will be produced through a collaboration with a contract manufacturer, while in-house teams in Brooklyn work on MakerBot’s current generation. As yet, no further details have been released regarding this contract manufacturer.
This latest news from MakerBot will surely strike different chords with different individuals and companies across the 3D printing space as a whole, and reactions are sure to be varied. For the company to have a viable future and to work toward the growth it has always hoped for, a restructuring seems to address the need for focused, attentive operations. The formatting of the announcement additionally serves to underscore the understanding of importance of the (remaining) team at MakerBot, as the people make the company.
Provided in full below is Jaglom’s announcement from the blog post:
MakerBot Restructures to Adapt to Market Dynamics, Refocus and Prepare for the Future
Posted by Jonathan Jaglom
Over the past six months, since I joined MakerBot as CEO, I’ve been incredibly impressed by the passion and talent within our company and community.
We have achieved a lot as a team, but we have also been impacted by the broader challenges in our industry. For the last few quarters, we did not meet our ambitious goals and we have to make significant changes to ensure MakerBot’s future growth and success. In order to lead our dynamic industry, we need to get back to our entrepreneurial spirit and address our fractured organizational structure.
Having had time to get deeply rooted in our business, understand our challenges, and learn the strengths of our managers, we have been working on a plan to move us toward a stronger future.
We have spent a lot of time evaluating the market and understanding our customers so we can make plans on how to move forward strategically. These decisions were not taken lightly. Today we will part with some of our exceptionally talented and hard working colleagues, and I’d like to thank them for their commitment and contributions.
Starting today, we are making significant changes including:
● Reorganizing our teams and reducing our staff by 20% globally
● Changing our leadership team to focus on our people and the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem
● Moving our R&D teams from Industry City in Brooklyn to our corporate headquarters at MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn. This will bring our teams closer together, ensuring more collaboration and easier communication. The MakerBot Factory will remain in Industry City in Brooklyn
● Setting a defined product development plan that is centered around building connected products within our ecosystem
● Working with a contract manufacturer to produce 4th generation products to save on costs and focus our teams at our factory in Brooklyn on our current generation of MakerBot 3D printers
I brought on Kavita Vora as our Chief of People to create a company and culture that is focused on our people. Nothing is more important to me. I have also bolstered our company by adding Nadav Goshen as our President. Nadav and his teams are focused on building out our world-class ecosystem and supporting our community better than we ever have. He will ensure that strategy around our product offering, ecosystem and brand are in full alignment.
For us to succeed, our employees, customers and community will be our #1 priority. I remain highly optimistic about MakerBot and I am excited about our future.