Layoffs at Adobe Canada hits local businesses

Abode Systems Canada will be laying off nearly a third of employees from its Canadian headquarters on Preston Street, which could affect surrounding businesses in Little Italy and the high-tech industry in Ottawa.
“(The Adobe employees) are really sad. They came in and they told me (about the layoffs),” says Tekle Berhanu, owner of Preston Shawarma and Café on Preston Street.

Berhanu says many of the Adobe employees are patrons to his restaurant, so the job cuts will “really affect business.”

Tan Masong, owner of Nakhon Thai Express, also on Preston Street, says she has many customers from Adobe who have been loyal to her business ever since she moved into the area three years ago.

But, big employers moving or cutting back on employees is not a new occurrence for business owners in Little Italy.

“OpenText moved downtown to Rideau Street, so that affected us too at one point and before that Bell Canada moved on us,” says Masong.

“It affects us a lot because those people have supported us at lunch for a long time.”

As Ottawa’s largest software company and the only location in Canada, Adobe employed about 300 workers before the cutbacks were first announced by the company on Nov. 8.

Adobe is known for its Photoshop, Acrobat computer software, and Flash platform.

The Ottawa location focused on product development, technical services and computer support.

The job cuts hitting Centretown are only part of an international employee reduction for the software giant.

“Since Adobe’s entry into the enterprise market in 2002 with the acquisition of Ottawa-based Accelio, we have built a large portfolio of LiveCycle customers,” Eric Tang, public relations officer for Adobe Canada, wrote in an email.

“We will continue to sell and support our LiveCycle products in the government and financial services vertical markets.”

The Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) is a member-based, economic development agency which works to advance knowledge-based institutions and industries in Ottawa.

“As a multinational (company), they have to face tough decisions. They have to decide what’s going to close and what’s not going to close,” says Mike Darch, managing director of global marketing at OCRI.

With large multinational company members such as Adobe, OCRI focuses on keeping companies in the city and expanding them, instead of business development which “they do pretty well on their own,” says Darch.

Although job cuts are usually a healing mechanism to restore a bruised financial statement, Adobe projects to report “double-digit revenue growth with an increasing percentage of recurring revenue (beyond fiscal year 2012),” according to a press release.

Last year, the glass-paned Adobe tower location advertised 20,000 square feet of office space for lease, foreshadowing the extra vacancies to come with employee cutbacks.

Employees of Adobe were unable to comment about the recent news affecting them and their co-workers.

Source: Centre Town News Online