'Tis the Season to be Laid Off

Christmas cheer no match for bottom line problems

On the second day of Christmas, my exec board gave to me, a pink slip and a box of paper clips as a lovely parting gift. At least that's the way it seems in some companies. Business laws take no true holidays, and the hard facts of the continually evolving (in the truest, survival of the fittest sense of the word) Internet Economy have led to more desks being cleaned out. There's still no shortage of spin, though. Bob Cross, the president and COO of Vcapital, which provides membership-based information and referral services for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, recently announced that two VCapital executives, including the vice president of venture exchange, have left the company as part of in-house restructuring. Two other executives have become consultants on a part-time basis.

And it's not just VC firms that are feeling the squeeze. EarlyBirdCapital.com, an online investment bank that provides investors with access to early stage companies, has cut its staff by 16 as part of company restructuring. According to the company's CEO David Nussbaum, EarlyBird has laid off at least four of its 29 employees, as well as 12 of the 15 employees it retained when it acquired Angeltips.com in July. Angeltips was an online provider of networking and resources for investors and entrepreneurs. At the time of the acquisition, EarlyBird said it would retain all Angeltips employees. Nussbaum said the Angeltips employees were laid off after the group was done designing, developing and launching the EarlyBirdCapital Web site. EarlyBirdCapital.com is backed by Bulldog Capital, NetInvest, Ramius Capital, Wheatley Partners and others.