About 30 EarthLink Corp. employees – including some channel managers – this month lost their jobs, but the cuts stemmed from strategy changes, rather than efforts to save money, the company said.
The layoffs came because EarthLink aligned staff working with both channel and direct salespeople.
Take the company's sales engineering department as a prime example.
"We had a completely separate sales engineer organization supporting partners and customers," said Mike Toplisek, executive vice president of sales and marketing for EarthLink. "Maybe you had a channel partner with a great opportunity in Boston, and the nearest channel partner sales engineer was in Philadelphia."
That Philadelphia-based engineer would then have to travel to Boston. The issue was, "the sales engineers on the direct side and the indirect side are doing the exact same thing," Toplisek said. So, EarthLink decided to give its Boston channel partners, for instance, access to a sales engineer already in Boston.
EarthLink also aligned channel managers with local branches, which resulted in layoffs among some channel and branch managers. Two people didn't need to be doing the same job, said Toplisek.
"And, candidly, when you build the organization around the very best people, it makes the entire organization stronger," he said.
The move to eliminate redundant roles impacted the following positions across the country:
- Channel managers
- Sales engineers
- Branch managers
- A vice president (not within the channel)