We broke the news last week that Jason Schauble, TrackingPoint’s CEO, was freshly out of a job. Now we’re hearing that the purge continues — 30 more employees are heading towards the unemployment line, including the company’s CFO . . .
TrackingPoint was, to the outside observer, doing extremely well. They’ve sold out their initial run of “precision guided” rifles and according to the guys who run their testing and zeroing range they’re having to crank out more guns every week than they expected just to keep up with demand. Now, not only are they manufacturing their own rifle, but they’re tooling up to start working with Remington on producing their new 20/20 line.
But there’s something here we’re not seeing. Companies that are doing well don’t toss their CEO and 15 more employees on a whim. Other signs of trouble include some scaling back on expansion — they had planned to build a 500-yard indoor testing facility, but the current scuttlebutt is they’ve abandoned that idea because of cash flow issues.
If I were a betting man, I’d say that these layoffs might be due to slack demand. Or costs that got out of control. They have a niche product and it’s not something that everyone wants. They may have reached the saturation point too soon, and looking at the balance sheet for the next few quarters made them queasy. No other reason to fire a bunch of people the week before Thanksgiving that I can imagine.
[ED] The original version of this story reported that 15 employees were fired. The latest report puts that number at 30.