BitTorrent replaces CEO, loses staff

November 10, 2008 | 09:03

Tags: #ben #ceo #credit-crunch #file-sharing

Companies: #bittorrent

With the credit crunch still causing turmoil worldwide, times are tough for many businesses – including file-sharing supremo BitTorrent.

CNet is reporting that the company behind one of the most popular file sharing protocols in history is struggling financially as it attempts to turn its technology into profit. Around half of its workforce – eighteen people in total – have been made redundant in order to reduce overheads, following a twenty two percent staff reduction back in August that saw the sales and marketing department trimmed down.

The company has also opted for major changes at the top, with chief executive officer Doug Walker being replaced by former chief technology officer Eric Klinker with immediate effect in the hopes that a fresh direction will stem the outpouring of money the company can't afford to lose.

A final cost-saving measure will see the company ditching the ill-fated BitTorrent Entertainment Network media store, opened back in 2007 as a way to turn pirates into paying customers for the copyright owners. Sadly, an audience largely comprised of people used to getting something for nothing wasn't the prime marketing ground the company was hoping for – so it's not really surprising to see it go.

Instead, the company hopes that with a techie at the helm and some of the more questionable ventures pared back it will be able to concentrate on selling its technology to firms looking to reduce the impact of large file downloads on their servers or networks – something many companies are thinking about in today's world of ubiquitous broadband for all.

Do you believe that BitTorrent is making the right choice by concentrating on being a provider of technology rather than media, or would a BitTorrent-powered DRM-free media store have been a huge success if the copyright owners would have only agreed? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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