Uptown-based web publishing company Webkite has cut staff by more than half and brought in a new CEO, according to Webkite marketing director Dan Tallarico.
He confirmed that the company terminated 13 of its 20 staff members Monday and that founder and CEO Eric Silver had stepped down to take on an “advisory” role with the firm. Senior software developer Thomas Harris has been appointed the new CEO.
Mr. Tallarico said the company has provided three weeks of severance pay and hired career planning consultants for terminated employees.
Founded in 2010 as specialized search company Pikimal, Webkite is no stranger to the restructured business plan. In July 2012, the company shifted the focus of its data technology from creating targeted web searches to “data-focused publishing” that allows the creation of web sites from a few points of spreadsheet data.
The shift seemed to pay off. In two years, the company expanded to more than 20 employees and moved to a new office in the Paramount Film Exchange. The past two years in a row, Webkite was named a Startup of the Year finalist for the Pittsburgh Technology Council's Tech 50 Awards.
After a two-year growth period that expanded the company to more than 20 employees and supported a move to a new office in the Paramount Film Exchange building in September, Mr. Tallarico said strategies to move the company forward weren’t communicated as quickly as they had been in the past and growth stalled.
With seven employees remaining on the team, Mr. Tallarico said a more “lean and agile” staff will focus on marketing Webkite’s platform to small businesses. He said users can expect to see visible changes by January.