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Breaking: Magento to shutter Philly office; staff gets relocation, remote-work offers

Photoshop maker Adobe said it will shutter Magento's Philly office. Staffers are being asked to work remotely or accept relocation offers, two sources said.

Civic hacker Shea Frederick.

It was the summer of 2016 when Philly tech starlet RJMetrics sold itself to Campbell, Calif.-based Magento, in a deal that spun out part of the company into what we now know as Stitch and gave the Silicon Valley brand a presence in Philadelphia.

“We love the Philly location and intend to build out there,” CEO Mark Lavelle told at the time, signaling that Philadelphia would be the East Coast hub of the California company. The move added 37 Philly staffers to its headcount of 500.

But then came the $1.68 billion deal in which Adobe accquired Magento last May. Despite initial claims by the ecommerce company that no changes would befall the orange brand, Adobe now says it will shutter the Philadelphia office — on the fourth floor of the Widener Building in Center City — when the lease ends Jan. 11.

“In line with Adobe’s global workplace strategy, we are making changes to better align skillsets and focus areas between Magento and Adobe employees,” said Adobe spokesperson Veselina Buie in an email. “Specifically, we are winding down the Magento office in Philadelphia and relocating employees to offices in key sites in the U.S.”

The move, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation, will not result in any immediate layoffs for the company’s team of 40. Product and engineering roles must relocate to keep their jobs after Jan. 11, one source said: If they do, there’s relocation assistance. If they don’t, there’s severance pay.

“It’s actually more about real estate, no one is really being let go,” one of the sources said.

The sources said most of the staff will be allowed to work remotely, while the engineering team specifically will only be offered relocation to Adobe’s Austin, Texas, office — where the bulk of its engineering team is located.

“That’s not an offer I’d take,” said an RJMetrics alum, who asked not to be named. visited Magento’s Center City offices Tuesday afternoon, where a banner announced the Adobe acquisition. Adobe Senior Engineering Manager Ben Garvey declined to comment and directed our inquiry to Adobe’s PR team.

“Today’s announcement does not impact our product roadmap plans,” said Buie. “The Magento Business Intelligence product remains an important element of the Magento Commerce Cloud.”

The entrance to the Magento office.

Magento’s Philly office will remain open until Jan. 11. (Photo by Roberto Torres)

A consolidation of workforce like this one, according to Temple University professor TL Hill, has to do with a rationalization process among managers.

“You look at the map in terms of demand and office space,” Hill said. “You have to meet the demand and think about where does it make more sense for you to be without having too much redundancy. It’s a calculation of demand, supply and costs.”

From what we heard from Bob Moore, the Philly Startup Leaders president who founded RJMetrics, and stepped down as head of Magento Business Intelligence in January to start a third data analytics startup called Crossbeam, this move might be yet another opportunity for an RJMetrics reunion.

“I can’t comment on any changes over there, as I’m no longer involved in the business,” Moore said via email. “What I can say is that there’s a world-class team working on some really innovative stuff in that office. I hope I’m lucky enough to work with them all again at some point.”

Companies: Magento / Adobe / RJMetrics

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