Variety.com, is reporting that just days after Richard Rosenblatt resigned from Demand Media, Inc. (DMD) as its CEO and Chairman of the Board, all 15 members of the research and development unit at the company were laid off, including chief innovation officer Byron Reese.
Demand reps did not respond to repeated requests for comment to Variety.com
“Reese was seen as the architect of Demand’s SEO approach, which has been widely derided as turning the company into a “content farm” that flooded search engines with low-quality content. Google’s move to update its search algorithms in 2011 depressed Demand-generated content, a crushing blow to the company, which has tried to diversify into other businesses in the ensuing years.”
“Reese was the founder of PageWise, a company Rosenblatt acquired in 2007 that provided the basis for Demand’s SEO-centric strategies. He is a widely published futurist who has been featured in TED Talks and released a book earlier this year, “Infinite Progress: How Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Hunger, Poverty, and War.”
“A bio page for Reese on Demand’s site has been removed, and he lists Demand as a previous employer on his LinkedIn page.”
“Most of the laid off employees, who were all in Reese’s unit, were based in Demand’s Austin, Tex., offices. Demand has approximately 700 employees.”
Shares of Demand are trading around $5.15 unchanged from yesterday and off the 52 week low of $4.80 which it hit after Rosenblatt announced his resignation.