Bluehost parent company, Endurance International Group, has announced that it is to close it Orem, Utah office with the loss of 440 jobs. The losses include over half of Bluehost's current 750 employees, including customer support, human resources, and training staff.
A memo sent to the staff affected, and obtained by VentureBeat, says that the layoffs will be implemented between March and October this year, with enhanced severance packages being paid.
Endurance International Group, or EIG, currently employs more than 3,800 staff including more than 750 Bluehost employees. A spokesperson for EIG has confirmed that "Transitioning our Orem office is a significant business decision that impacts approximately 440 Bluehost jobs locally".
EIG, including Bluehost, have suffered severe problems with the support levels offered to clients over the past year or two, and this appears to be another move to rectify this issue. Last year, Bluehost stopped providing ticket-based support to provide a more timely support service, after tickets were regularly going a week or more without reply.
According to EIG, the layoffs are part of a much greater plan to consolidate "the support function from Orem to our existing office in Tempe, Arizona. Many of these roles may also relocate to our offices in Provo and Salt Lake City."
EIG is no stranger to laying off staff, with them previously laying off the entire Arvixe workforce after its acquisition by EIG, and similarly Site5. Unfortunately, after these two previous events, the support for many EIG brands, such as A Small Orange and Bluehost suffered as they tried to pick up the slack.
In their statement, EIG confirmed:
Shifting the majority of our resources and attention to centralize support, sales as well as professional services is a long-term strategy for the benefit of the business and our valued customers. This decision will enable greater efficiency across our family of Endurance brands for the benefit of our customers.
We have two lines of thoughts on this move. Firstly, keeping the status quo at the company was not a solution. The support offered by Bluehost and other EIG brands is so bad that keeping it the way it was would not have worked, at least, in our opinion. Making drastic changes by ending ticket support (GoDaddy only have telephone support, so it is not unheard of), and consolidating their support teams may just give them the impetus to turn things around.
The second line of thought concerns us greatly, and that is if the transition is poorly managed. We have seen this before with Arvixe, and ultimately it is those acquisitions and restructuring that coincided with the extremely poor support offered.
Anything must be an improvement in the current situation so that we will hope for the former.