At least 30 employees of Calgary-based SMART Technology Inc. were given notice this morning, leaving the Calgary office hours later carrying boxes filled with their belongings.
The company says it will lay off 25 per cent of its staff by March 2013 under a major corporate restructuring.
Abhishek Dhawan is not sure what to do next. He has only been with SMART Technologies since August, working as a software tester for the company that is best know for the interactive boards used in classroms.
Now he's worried he will be forced to return to India.
"My work permit was tied to the employer, so I could only work for SMART," said Dhawan.
Another software tester, who didn't want to give his name, believes he'll land on his feet somewhere else.
"But I feel bad for a lot of people that have been working here for many years right and just suddenly ... got cut," he said. "And a lot of people got cut."
Fierce competition reason for restructuring, says CEO
Hints of impending layoffs began in April when the co-founders of the company resigned their executive management roles.
By August, the company had cut 10 per cent of operating expenses, citing tough competition in the interactive education market.
In a release, the new CEO said this latest round of cuts will save the company $40 million.
"Today’s announcement marks a significant change in SMART’s operating model and has been designed to improve the customer experience and provide a more efficient and robust platform to build upon," said Neil Gaydon in the release.
"The new structure will accelerate innovation and enable a more effective go to market strategy for our education and enterprise customers."
Gaydon says tough competition in the market is also part of the reason for restructuring.
The company says about 225 Calgary staff will be laid off by the end of the fiscal year.