AM I NEXT? NO LOVE -- LAYOFFS AT ANKI

Am I Next? Anki runs out of money to make robotic toys.

San Francisco, California-based Anki, a start-up creator of consumer-focused robots endowed with artificial intelligence has announced that they are planning to close the company and layoff all workers, estimated at near 200 employees. The company simply ran out of money, even though it was seeking additional investment capital after having raised $200 million in venture capital over the past nine years. There are a number of companies that might be interested in Anki’s intellectual property.

According to Anki’s co-founder and CEO, Boris Sofman, “"It is with a heavy heart to announce that Anki will be letting go of our employees, effective Wednesday. We’ve shipped millions of units of product and left customers happy all over the world while building some of the most incredible technologies pointed toward a future with diverse AI and robotics driven applications. But without significant funding to support a hardware and software business and bridge to our long-term product roadmap, it is simply not feasible at this time. Despite our past successes, we pursued every financial avenue to fund our future product development and expand on our platforms. A significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor and we were not able to reach an agreement. We’re doing our best to take care of every single employee and their families, and our management team continues to explore all options available."

In addition to employees, the company’s closure may also affect consumers who rely on the company’s cloud infrastructure which is necessary for robot operation.

Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?

AM I NEXT? NO LOVE -- LAYOFFS AT FLUOR IDAHO

Fluor Idaho - Layoffs - Government facility shutdown.

In response to the closure and phase-out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Fluor Idaho, a subsidiary of Irving, Texas-based multinational engineering and construction firm Fluor, is restructuring its operations. The company is soliciting voluntary layoffs in order to reduce the headcount by 190 employees in the fiscal year 2019. If voluntary separations are inadequate to achieve Fluor’s target, there will be forced layoffs. The reduction in force should come as no surprise to the employees or the community as the company made its intentions known when the DOE announced the closure.

The company and the community fought to keep the facility open but a Department of Energy feasibility study of extending the AMWTP mission to treat waste from other DOE sites concluded it would not be cost-effective. A DOE spokesperson noted, “Therefore, upon completion of the mission, DOE will initiate closure activities in accordance with regulatory permits and the existing Fluor Idaho contract.”

Because many workers belong to craft unions, it is difficult to simply transition them to other positions controlled by different unions and contracts.

Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?

AM I NEXT? NO LOVE AT MASSMUTUAL

Mass Mutual closing Charlotte, North Carolina office in consolidation move.

Springfield, Massachusetts-based Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) is continuing its restructuring to consolidate its operations. The consolidation effort will result in the permanent closure of its Ballantyne office located in Charlotte, North Carolina and result in the layoff of 164 employees, mostly call center and support functions. This should not come as a surprise to employees as the company revealed its consolidation plans last year and indicating that it would be moving its Charlotte employees to other company offices in Springfield, Massachusetts or Boston, Massachusetts.

At that time, MassMutual president and CEO Roger Crandall noted, “Following a thorough strategic assessment of our operations and footprint, we concluded that our home state of Massachusetts is the best place for us to grow and thrive over the long term. We have deep roots and a supportive community in our hometown of Springfield, and we will continue to invest and grow our workforce in the city. At the same time, as we evolve, a stronger Boston presence immerses us in a booming financial and digital economy and provides us with an enhanced opportunity to recruit innovators from the area’s deep and diverse talent pool.”

Change is coming. There will always be a tomorrow, no matter how much you may try to ignore it. There are no guarantees in life, or promises for a bright future. Just because something bad hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you now wondering, Am I Next?