George Oates, the architect of the Commons on Flickr (and former designer behind Flickr), was laid off by Yahoo.
Excerpt from her personal blog at
After giving the opening keynote at the National Digital Forum in Auckland on November 27, then presenting at the Powerhouse Museum and the National Library of Australia, visiting with Commons members the State Library of New South Wales and the Australian War Memorial, I headed to Taipei for an exciting Culturemondo Roundtable event I was invited to attend. This Wednesday, I shook the hand of the Vice President of Taiwan, who was at the opening.
The next day I presented with Seb Chan, about our take on “Search & Find.” That evening we all went to a lovely dinner at one of the best Taiwanese joints in Taipei. (Thanks to Tien Sing, Shadiral, Christina and Aleksandra for being such entertaining dinner conversation.) Then off for a wander in one of the massive night markets. I decided to jump in a cab back to the hotel with Jackie from NZ Live and Jock from Te Ara. It took a slightly long way home, we suspected.
When I got up to my room, I saw a text message from my manager, asking if he could call me on Friday at 9am. I wrote back to say I was going to be on a bus full of people at that time, and that I was awake now if he wanted to call. The phone rang.
“I’ll just get straight to the point. You’ve been affected by the layoffs.”
He told me he was reading from a script he was required to follow, and that he needed an address to send some sort of “Agreement” to me in Australia, and needed it sent back by December 19. Before I’d even finished the call, I twittered (to my private account):
“Wow. I just got fired.” I was immediately distressed.
I stayed up until about 2:30am that night, chain smoking and talking to friends who saw my tweet and had responded – THANK YOU. I sent a formal request for time to transition The Commons program to whoever is to take it over: “A week should do it,” I said. It was denied.
Worth to read more.
“George Oates is the last person a sane company would lay off.”