I-Shops in Atlanta Dismiss Staff

A dot-com storm blew through this city last week, leaving scores of staffers at The Voltage Factory, 360i and other interactive shops out in the cold.

“We’ve had people working at the dot-coms laid off,” said Amy Hoover, vice president of recruiting at the Talent Zoo in Atlanta. “Now, it’s the agencies working on the dot-coms firing people.”

Agency sources and interviews with the newly unemployed confirmed that The Voltage Factory (established by former WestWayne Atlanta interactive staffers led by managing partner Gerry Brewer) dismissed 50 percent of its workers.

“Like a lot of companies, we got caught up in a frenzy of startup firms,” said Brewer. “We were looking at eight to ten business plans a week. Now, we’ve changed our focus to target established technology as well as traditional companies.”

360i, led by co-presidents David Williams and Bryan Kujawski, got caught in that same client squeeze and was forced to cut 45 percent of its staff.

Rumors swirled that marchFIRST, affected by what one of its executives called “the heroin of the dot-coms,” would close its Southeast operations in the next few months.

Executives at marchFirst and 360i did not return calls.

Many of the laid-off staffers spoke on condition of anonymity, concerned their two-week severance packages would be revoked.

“These are young hotshots,” said Hoover. “They’re having a pretty hard time.”