Pillar Data Systems lays off 30% of staff

Pillar Data Systems, the San Jose storage company backed by billionaire Oracle founder Larry Ellison, said Wednesday it would layoff 150 employees, or about 30 percent of the company’s work force. The step was taken to help the company “weather the storm” of the current economy, company spokesman Chris Drago told Mercury News reporter Scott Duke Harris, who writes for Thursday’s paper about “triage efforts” to help companies survive the current downturn.

The pace of layoffs in Silicon Valley seems to be picking up, according to Janice Shriver from the state’s Employment Development Department. She says that efforts by the state’s local “Rapid Response” team, which works to assist employees about to lose their jobs as soon as the team gets news of impending layoffs, has “more than doubled and nearly tripled” over the last three months.

Pillar received an initial pledge of $100 million in 2002 from Ellison, who felt his own company was paying too much for storage. The company released its first data storage product in 2005 called Pillar Axiom, designed to be a lower-cost solution than similar products from NetApp, EMC and other rivals.


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