Quark Responds to ‘Quark Insider’


Sunday, a Quark insider alleged layoffs, fiscal irresponsibility, and slumping sales. Wednesday Quark responded. I spoke with Ray Schiavone, president and CEO of Quark, about recent layoffs in the U.S. and India, about the state of Quark’s finances, and about whether QuarkXPress 7 is selling.

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Sunday, 5 August 2007, Quark VS InDesign.com published the story “Quark Insider: Sales Low, Spending Up, Employees Out.” The story presented allegations leveled at Quark by a highly placed Quark employee whom we dubbed simply the “Source.” The story instantly sparked heated discussion from those within Quark as well as without. The following Monday morning, Quark’s director of corporate communications, MacLean Guthrie, told Quark VS InDesign.com to expect an immediate official response to the story. She also requested that we interview Quarks’ CEO. Three days after I called for a statement, interrupting an office full of people discussing the “Quark Insider” story and how to respond to it, those people were ready to respond.


The Source in the “Quark Insider” story asserted that a “significant” number of employees were dismissed from Quark on Friday, 3 August 2007–many notified by e-mail directly from Schiavone himself, and some escorted from the downtown Denver Quark building. The terminations were not made known to other Quark employees; only senior executives and dismissed employees’ direct supervisors knew, the Source said.

Schiavone says there were no layoffs on Friday.

Instead, they happened Monday and Tuesday. One employee was terminated the preceding Wednesday–August 1st–for unrelated reasons, but Quark says the layoffs in question just didn’t happen until earlier this week. When asked to explain how the fact of layoffs that didn’t occur until Monday and Tuesday could be published on the preceding Sunday, both the Source and Quark declined to comment.

Schiavone also says the terminations didn’t happen as the Source reported. “Not a single person got an e-mail from me notifying them of a layoff. And escorting people from the building… That isn’t me. That isn’t how I do things.” In several instances, an employee’s manager and an HR representative flew to the employee’s remote office to talk personally about the decision.

Whenever notifications and layoffs actually occurred, what were the numbers involved? How many people were dismissed? A “nominal percentage; not substantial,” Schiavone says. “As far from substantial as you can imagine. Any more than one is not fun, and it’s not something I take lightly, because I know we’re impacting families.” He will not provide an exact number of people let go, nor a count of personnel still employed by Quark offices worldwide.

The Source claimed that the majority of the discharged employees in the US were “luxury personnel” from sales, marketing, and other customer facing departments. Schiavone says that all departments were impacted and “no one department was affected more than another.” Quark is “investing in our customer facing resources,” he adds. Well, then how does Quark define the term “luxury personnel”? “I’ve never heard that term before,” he says.

So who was affected by the layoffs? Again, no exact numbers and no names are given. In the US, most of the changes are happening at the top. Schiavone came on board in November 2006, and immediately set to work making personnel changes one Quark employee characterized as “cleaning house.” Eighty-one positions have been created or filled since January 2007, and 60 percent of the current management team is made up of new positions and new hires since January 2007. The layoffs of the last few days create “a heck of a lot more change at the top than in the ranks by an order of magnitude,” Schiavone explains. “While some positions were eliminated, many employees are transitioning into new product lines.” And, Quark is hiring. Resumes are being entertained to fill newly created positions. Quark has retained an executive talent search agency, to assist in filling out the New Quark team.

In Mohali, Punjab Province, India, where an unspecified percentage of the company’s Quark City staff were dismissed concurrent with the US layoffs, the reason is different. “In India we were more focused on performance. We were focused on taking out the bottom performers,” Schiavone explains.

However they’re handled, layoffs inevitably inspire retained employees to fear for their own jobs. One Quark employee still with the company as of Wednesday asks not to be identified but sums up a common sentiment: “It’s a shock when someone you worked with for years suddenly isn’t going to show up for work ever again. You can’t not wonder if your own resume is up to date.”

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33 Responses Discussing “Quark Responds to ‘Quark Insider’”
  1. In India they were more concerned with performance. Now this takes the cake. Every year and a half they sift out the low performers. Looks like its a great “low performers” producing factory? Hello? when are the middle level and R&D Directors going to raise their hands, assume responsibility and fire themselves?

    Has the Quark India office got one of the shining examples of Employee appreciation and reward scheme? Does it have a good work environment with all the top level monkeys playing poker? The only good MD/Executive Quark ever had was Pankaj Sehgal and he weeded out in a record 5 months, though in that short time he did sweeping changes to Quark that he is still thanked by present Quark Employees who still remember him! Hey he installed nameplates on our seats! We had none! :)

    Hello you got a degree in management and experience in top lof the line field experience Mr Schiavone? I think Quark’s your Waterloo.

    Also continuing from the other thread, saying that the employees should change if they are not happy with Quark, well its the right thing to do.. But then Quark has assumed similar dimensions to say Corruption, Bribery, Drunk Driving and other social ills.. Its an irritant on the software horizon both for employees and customers and it should be shut down via a law of the Parliament.

    09 Aug 2007
    20:08 PT
  2. This is good. “In India we were more focused on performance. We were focused on taking out the bottom performers”. However there are people who have been rated as ‘exceptional performers’ for the complete year and have been fired. Unlike the first All Employee Meeting, Ray did not divulge our performance in Q2. He says that Quark is not cut costs, but are trying to do ‘more with less’. So if you are firing high performers (who by the way get higher salaries). He’s right, its not cost cutting, its retaining high performers.
    A very smart tactic has been pulled off in India, some teams have been desolved, and the team leads have been retained in their current role, simple message asking them to start looking for jobs. In other cases, 80% of the team has been wiped out, and the workload is more than one can handle, so the overworked start looking for jobs. And yes, this has been done to teams working on our flagship product QuarkXPress. But enterprise, that gives us little or no revenue, so they wont touch that team. They are going to merge the R&D teams of QuarkXPress and Enterprise. Guess who will be heading all the key positions! Correct, its the Commerce group who’s been doing such a kiss-ass job.
    Thank you Pariah for this website where we can voice our opinions becuase we dare not from inside Quark, they will simply find a way to fire us.

    09 Aug 2007
    23:32 PT
  3. It is time to look for new job… actually it was time a long time ago…

    09 Aug 2007
    23:42 PT
  4. As per Schiavone, “In India we were more focused on performance. We were focused on taking out the bottom performers”.
    Come on Ray don’t be ridiculous. In India office, there are people who are fired and were exceptional performer for last more than a year. So this statement looks completely……. you know what I mean :)

    “layoffs inevitably inspire retained employees to fear for their own jobs.”
    Hmmm… thats right. And that why India office strength is less than 25% of what it was 2 years back.
    Quark might not be dying but looks like Quark India is dying.

    Some 1 & 1/2 year back, there were firing in India office, that time too Quark said that they laidoff low performers, but the actual story was different. Managers were given a number X and asked to fire X number of their staff. Your performance is nothing guys, just nothing. Only thing that matters is how good you are licking your manager.
    I am sure they have done the same thing this time too.

    10 Aug 2007
    07:07 PT
  5. Uuh… this interview doesn’t really answer the hard questions. I forget that Quark is not a publicly traded company so it’s not bound to disclose certain information to the public. Still I think their PR stinks. After reading this I get the sense that there’s a lot going on that they don’t want to disclose. Makes it hard to believe anything they say. I really wanted to know what their financial and sales figure is like. Kudos to Pariah for this interview. I guess the other issue involves the California Office, right?

    10 Aug 2007
    07:33 PT
  6. As much as I dis-like such “below the gurtleline” discussions, I must admit that there is some truth in all this.


    10 Aug 2007
    11:03 PT
  7. Well I received an email from someone who was laid off.

    The email arrived Sunday, August 5th at 1:50 am.

    Seems to me that Monday, August 6th and Tuesday, August 7th are after Sunday, August 5th.

    Now, the actual date of the firings is not consequential to the underlying message of The Source’s original comments and Pariah’s story.

    In fact, quibbling abut the date takes most of the focus off of the underlying truth of the story.

    Truth: Quark Inc. had layoffs in both the US and India.
    Truth: Quark Inc. has not denied any comments about sales being off target.

    Layoffs are never a good sign at a company. Ironically hiring people does not always show a positive cash flow.

    10 Aug 2007
    12:44 PT
  8. Amazing how many employees in India are complaining about their current plight, when for the past 4-5 years they have missed deadlines, developed inferior code, lacked the talent or attitude to QA the products, horrible Customer Service (many who cannot even soeak English) and support. You have made your bed, yet you are pointing fingers at Ray as if he created the postion you are in.
    If you were world-class you would be untouchable.
    I am certain Quark will continue to restructure the business in India until they have a core group who gives a damn about working for Quark.
    I have had the opportunity to meet with Ray and some members of his Sr. Staff, they are first class , trustworthy and are winners. They are introducing strategies and internal enthusiasm at Quark that has never been witnessed in the past. The reversal of the prior culture is a difficult task, yet Ray’s team will succeed as they are removing the negativity from the business, regardless of the abilities of the individual. As a partner, I am privileged to a good amount of information and I can state the information Ray provided to Pariah was accurate.

    Next year at this time, Quark will be a force to be reckoned with as they embark on their new strategies.

    I believe the slogan “Quark sucks” will soon becomes “Quark continues to suck business from their competiotrs”.

    10 Aug 2007
    16:48 PT
  9. Sandee, I know exactly who you are speaking of and that the person speculated he/she was getting laid off after receiving an e-mail on Saturday evening from his/her manager to meet on Monday. I have other info I will not divulge to protect the individual which caused he/she some concern and speculation, yet no advance warnings were sent to any individual.
    Quark laid off only a couple of persons on Monday as they respected the individuals enough to send a couple of persons to their respective city.

    No one laid off was informed prior to Monday and individuals laid were met in person by their manager. All persons laid off were informed of new job postings and their opportunity to apply for these jobs, if they desired.

    Contrary to a number of postings, Qaurk is doing very well, is profitable, is focused on product quality, performance and Customer Service/Support and is driven by their breakout strategies.

    I agree with “Quark Partner” exciting times are ahead, as Quark expands it’s product lines and introduces an internal culture where employees are proud to work at Quark and contribute to the turnaround in Customer and Market perception.

    The good news is a healthy and nimble Quark keeps Adobe on their toes and is good for the Creatives and the Publishing vertical.

    10 Aug 2007
    19:44 PT
  10. Jodhartner wrote:
    All persons laid off were informed of new job postings and their opportunity to apply for these jobs, if they desired.

    The person who sent me the email on Sunday morning (Saturday night) totally denies that he was given the opportunity to apply for another job.

    The person has used the phrase “crock of lies.”

    I can’t tell if that applies to all of Jodhatner’s post, Ray Schiavone’s quotes, or everything on this blog page.

    I know my contact. I do not know Jodhartner, or Mr. Schiavone. I trust my contact.

    11 Aug 2007
    07:48 PT
  11. Hhhmm… I was never offered to apply for another position or ever informed of openings even though I was consistently rated as an above-average performer for several years. I did check out the open positions and there are at least 5 that I am very qualified for…did I miss something here?

    11 Aug 2007
    07:52 PT
  12. In response to ‘Quark Partner’ above

    My dear friend, you should at least have some ethics or sentiments. If you can’t say some good words then you don’t have any right to speak the way you did. Let me first clarify that all the X-Quarkian are not complaining about their plight. They are just speaking about the way business goes on in Indian operation of Quark and I would like to thank Pariah for this. He has provided a place where people can speak up & release their anger & at the same time let know the facts & inside truth (which otherwise not possible) to all who is really concerned about this. And I hope you are also one of those who are concerned & that’s the reason why you are here & reading all this stuff.

    I am no more with Quark but I still love it & pray for its well being. Reason for this is not only that Quark provided me a good place to work for or to grow in my career. I love it because I belong to print/publishing domain & have started & grown in my career working on different products from Quark, Adobe & others. As you said that you had the opportunity to meet Ray & are supportive of his strategies, I would say that’s really good for Quark. If Ray really has some good plans then it should be implemented as soon as possible. But he should also keep in mind the situation at Quark India office. What all is being said here (by X-Quarkians) is a truth & what you have said also have some part of it. I would agree that there had been flaws in the development cycle but what is being developed is altogether planned & visualized by the PMs sitting in Denver. I had been part of this process & let me tell you, I know this part better than you can even think of. I can see the pathetic features being asked for implementation & over & above that the more pathetic reasons given for its use by end users. All this is done by people sitting in Denver office. God knows whether they have ever gone out to end users to know their requirements. Last few years I have seen people working here day & night (even on weekends) like a psycho just to implement all, what was asked for, in time. In my conversation with them, they were really excited that new Xpress 7 will come out with such great features & whenever I used to tell them that many of these are useless, nobody believed me. They used to look at me as if I have come down from some other planet. All this showed their enthusiasm. I don’t think I have to lecture a lot in this regard. Anybody can understand what I want to say. My point is: Quark never had a vision about where it wants to go after version 4. If you know how it (application)works, just go through version 5, 6 & 7 & you can simply understand this. If you have a clear vision with proper strategies then you will write requirements that I really required. I don’t think these will then fail after implementation. All the X-Quarkians are not at pity. The layoffs have helped them to be a part of bigger & better companies & with better salaries. Many of them are now working for Adobe, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft & many others. Again I don’t have to tell you this & I don’t want to even start a discussion on the expertise of Indians in this field. Look inside all the IT companies you can think of, more than 50 % of results they give are only because of Indians. It’s simple that Quark never knew how to utilize this talent. They never put a stable MD here & made this a battleground of politics which was always initiated from Denver itself. Your slogan for Quark can never be a reality since now it does not have any competitor. It has come far ahead from competing with PageMaker & has been far behind in competition with InDesign. Quark can never make a Photoshop or Flash. It has to be itself & maintain the place it has. I would look forward for Ray’s strategies to maintain company’s position & bring out altogether a new product to create/capture new markets.

    Now for your comment on speaking in English. We Indians have enough guts to speak in any language & suck all the air that you have to breathe. If you have even small pieces of gut then come & try the same speaking in Hindi.

    12 Aug 2007
    10:07 PT
  13. Layoffs on Monday? Layoffs on Friday? Does it matter? The bottom line there is that Quark is not healthy, and that is in direct contradiction to the perception that Quark has been publically pushing.

    As pointed out by others in this thread, Quark’s unique position amoungst major software vendors in being a privately held company gives it the ability and lack of legal obligations to be able to tell the public as little as they want to, or even misleading information. For example, Quark can say “we are profitable” and be under absolutley no obligation to back that up nor face any consequnces if it is not accurate.

    Or, it could even be an accurate statement and yet not truly reflect the financial health of the company if they, for example, sold off a product or other asset to generate revenue and instantly be “profitable”. But since Quark does not need to disclose any of that info, we don’t know. I guess each of us has to decide for ourselves based on Quark’s prior history as to whether we should blindly take their word on such things.

    In contrast, Adobe took in record revenue ( quarkvsindesign.com/...orts-record-revenue/ ) and because they and most of the rest of the world has to disclose all their financial information, one can see exactly what is happening in the company. Inaccuracies in that venue have dire consequences. But inaccuracies in Quark’s “statements” have absolutely no legal or financial consequences.

    But to me, this is a positive development for Quark (obviously not to the people personally affected). It shows that someone is actually at the helm at Quark and at least trying to divert it from a rather bleak looking future. We have not seen much evidence of anyone being at the helm of Quark for some time, and I’m not just talking about the time when the CEO position literally was not filled.

    On the other hand, it is a big negative development that Quark CEO Ray Chiavone would give Pariah the series of evasive comments that he did on this serious matter. Pariah, did you feel he was really as evasive as he sounded from your article?

    Are we to take these as examples of the new transparency that Quark CEO Ray Schiavone talked about just 8 short months ago? ( digitalartsonline.co...ndex.cfm?NewsID=7000 )

    With these considerations in mind, I think two reasonable questions to pose to Quark CEO Ray Chiavone in the remaining portion of the interview would be:

    1) Is Quark really commited to the openness that it has recently spoken about, or does the long standing pattern of evasiveness continue?

    2) Does Quark intent to focus on matters of substance for its customers, or on trying to change the perception and image of the company while leaving the substance the same. (Disclosure: I did NOT attend any expensive Quark paid events in the last 2 years.)

    Although those may sound like loaded questions, I think they are indeed issues that are on the minds of individuals and companies that have to make a choice as to whether to tie themselves to either Quark or Adobe. If we can’t get succint and verifiable answers to those simple questions, then I don’t see how the “New Quark” is not just “Another ‘New Face of Quark’”.

    Hopefully, we will get some more carefully thought out answers from Quark CEO Ray Chiavone this time….

    Concerned Potential Customer

    12 Aug 2007
    15:52 PT
  14. Dear “Quark Partner” look at “One of X-Q” words… its pity on you.
    You have typed so many line just by hearing one side of story? That’s not inteligence. Anyways that your choice ;)
    I too have heard it many time that PMs in Denever ask to implement irrelevant feature that are just useless. And those PM then ask to remove the same feature when they are about to release a product.
    I can not believe anyone can give a better software n such circumstances.

    13 Aug 2007
    01:40 PT
  15. I agree with Quark Partner. Let’s wind up all Indian operations. Let’s go back to the land of the free and home of the brave and start development the american way. Meeting deadlines and speaking English.

    13 Aug 2007
    02:25 PT
  16. Dear One of X=Q,

    You are missing the point. Features have nothing to do with quality or product performance, that is the role of the developer. I have been a successful Quark Xtension partner (as well as Adobe) for a number of years, inferior product quality and/or poor product performance would have put me out of business. Regardless of the features you are developing and your belief in those features, the developer is accountable for the code and quality.
    You misunderstood my reference to supporting the English language. The India Customer Service persons job are to support English speaking Customers therefore they get PAID to speak English. If they cannot they should not be put in those positions.
    I do not want to enter into a debate about IT India, yet please name me one software company in India, not a consulting company like Tata, more like Google, Adobe, Quark, Microsoft, SAP, etc.. all software innovation happens outside of India my friend and for good reason. Product upgrades, support, maintenance, etc.. happens in India. The turnover rate in India IT businesses is alarming, there is no allegiance to the business,only a drive to make 20% more each year or leave and join another business. Watch out for China, Eastern Block countries, Singapore, etc. as their values are different from your own.

    Good luck in your ventures

    13 Aug 2007
    05:46 PT
  17. Dear One of X=Q,

    You are missing the point. Features have nothing to do with quality or product performance, that is the role of the developer. I have been a successful Quark Xtension partner (as well as Adobe) for a number of years, inferior product quality and/or poor product performance would have put me out of business. Regardless of the features you are developing and your belief in those features, the developer is accountable for the code and quality.
    You misunderstood my reference to supporting the English language. The India Customer Service persons job are to support English speaking Customers therefore they get PAID to speak English. If they cannot they should not be put in those positions.
    I do not want to enter into a debate about IT India, yet please name me one software company in India, not a consulting company like Tata, more like Google, Adobe, Quark, Microsoft, SAP, etc.. all software innovation happens outside of India my friend and for good reason. Product upgrades, support, maintenance, etc.. happens in India. The turnover rate in India IT businesses is alarming, there is no allegiance to the business,only a drive to make 20% more each year or leave and join another business. Watch out for China, Eastern Block countries, Singapore, etc. as their values are different from your own.

    Good luck in your ventures

    13 Aug 2007
    05:59 PT
  18. And don’t forget to add…
    Force programmers to work 70+ hour weeks, then get sued for not paying OT. Only to settle at 2-3x the owed amount in order not to set precedence for others.

    13 Aug 2007
    08:25 PT
  19. In my opinion, (and I can tell you that this is NOT the first time I’ve seen this situation as I’ve been part in the middle of this before), when a new CEO is appointed within a corporate structure there is a mandate for change one way or another. Sometimes these changes include part of the team/workforce/staff etc. I don’t believe that Schiavone is the devil that some people may make him out to be but then again I’ve never met him. I truly believe though that his intention is not to destroy people’s lives in having to fire people. But one way or another he too has someone higher up on the food chain to report to. And ultimately he must do the job he was appointed to do. My point is this, that without drastic change, that change will never occur. And as far as Quark being a sinking ship, that’s absolutely absurd. XPress may have lost a ton of market share in North America but it is an absolutely huge player in the world market, regardless of reasons why. A company on the verge of economic disaster DOES NOT open up an office in Silicon Valley… really, thats just not logical. I can tell you that I use QXP 7 every day (for print/web/flash) along side to other programs from Adobe and other developers. I use them because they work for me and that ultimately is the bottom line. I actually look forward as well to the changes that are coming in Quark’s future. I believe that this type of fierce competitiveness will ultimately benefit us, the end user. One could only hope that Quark can keep being that thorn in Adobe’s side so that the both of them will continue to focus on developing new and innovative technologies for us. And in regards to the people that have gotten dismissed, I offer my deepest sympathies to you and your families. I had the pleasure of meeting Shellie Hall at the Quark Symposium in Montreal. She is a fantastic presenter who knows her products and industry extremely well. Now if any of the other people that have gotten dismissed are nearly as talented as she is then I don’t suspect that they’ll be out of work for long. Anyhow, I really think people may be looking too far in to this. Corporate restructuring truly is a bitch, but sometimes it’s just not possible to move forward without making some drastic changes. QXP vs ID, keep up the good work! Your coverage on this has been great! And Shellie, your positive attitude is bound to take you to new heights in your career. Thanks for putting on an awesome presentation in Montreal and getting me hooked on Interactive Designer.

    … and that’s a wrap.


    13 Aug 2007
    13:39 PT
  20. Dear Quark Partners..

    Now ,now, isn’t it too late in life to bitch about the quality of spoken English , technical skills, intelligence or cowardice, blah blah of Indians.
    Friends, if all of the above that you have written were indeed true , the real life situation would never be what it is right now. Need I say anything about all the layoffs, operation closures that have happened in the US for years now> Now, would that have happened if Americans were at all indispensable as you claim.
    Really man you seem to be blindfolded and then hitting below the belt there. I will not throw any more light, since THAT is now HISTORY written all over. The race is over, the results are here.

    So, Correction – Indians are good- especially where BRAINS are concerned.
    Now about the mess that Quark is in right now, is entirely due to a mixed contribution of selfish employees BOTH in INDIA and the US. It was an american who decided to shut down operations in Denver and else where and set them up in India.

    13 Aug 2007
    21:27 PT
  21. I’ve used Quark since 1989. What’s happened to it is really sad.

    I still use it but have ended up using InDesign for around 70% and Quark the remaining 30%.

    Why – features… The period with Q 5 and 6 made me hate the company with a passion.

    (No OSx mac version, telephone activation to a call centre, an extra £150 to run it on the laptop and a dog of a product (Thinking of Q6.0 still makes me shiver). The problem was, we didn’t have a choice then.)

    We do now and to be honest ID3 isn’t perfect so there’s still plenty of room for Quark as well.


    You need to concentrate on being better than Indesign. I want more features that work for me. (Job jackets – what’s that all about?!?)

    Perhaps if you all spent less time being xenophobic (both Indians and Americans) to each other you might actually make a better product?

    14 Aug 2007
    07:33 PT
  22. Thanks LSDM! Actually I will be just fine and am looking at some VERY cool opportunities as we speak (type). I have always loved what I do, I love connecting with the customers and being behind my product 100%. I do love Quark Interactive Designer and have had a lot of fun with it during the past couple of years. I also love the fact that I am not “confined” to one product in my creative content development anymore. I am getting re-acquainted with an “old friend” so to speak. I am sure that Quark will follow it’s destiny – whatever that may be, and I will follow-mine. As I have stated so many times in my life – especially this year – “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”.

    I am done with this string – it is up to Ray to answer for choices he has made – the bottom line with prove right or wrong as will time.

    Thanks for everyone’s support – Ducktype.com will be up and running in the next week – so SEND ME SOME CONSULTING WORK!

    Cheers – Shellie

    14 Aug 2007
    20:24 PT
  23. To Quark Partner
    I’m an Indian. Sorry to say, development of products are independent of the country. They depend on the people you hire in that country.
    There are Indians working on XPress that are way superior to anyone in Denver at the moment in terms of coding for XPress. However, there are many who are way inferior. But both sides of the globe, all in all, we have some really good people.
    Some Quark partners blame their own inefficiencies on product quality. They dont read the XT Dev docs properly, they dont understand how to implement some APIs but try messing around with them anyway, creating a mess of things for their client and then start complaining about instability of the product.
    version 7.3 is a lot more stable than CS2 and CS3 – which were made in…. yes US and India!!! Did you know that most of Adobes products are coded in India? Did you know that their techsupport and call centers are in India? Did you know that most of large companies in the US have their development centers and call centers in India? I think you’re a disgruntled jackass who is worried about jobs going from your country!
    Work 10-14 hrs a day, over some weekends, dont get overtime, ask for the salaries we do, and make a better software. When you start that, jobs will go back to the US…
    P.S. ver 5 took 5 yrs, totally unstable… ver 6 took 1.5 yrs almost as unstable, but better. The former was made in the US, the latter in India.
    Now put a sock in it and cut you racial crap!

    16 Aug 2007
    05:32 PT
  24. It happened again as always and this time around 34 people from Quark India Operations(QE,R&D, Tech Support, Enterprise Support, SCM etc..)were layed off with no prior notice. This also included people who were considered to be top performers in the past and now they seem to be useless. Quark has a history of spoiling future of good & budding Engineers. I was there when budding freshers were swept and youngsters crying and pleading for a proper reasoning for them being layed of and quark AXE did its job… You can see Bryan Penny still on Quark site though he also has been layed off some time back and this week the well known HR Journalist in Denver will be out too.You guesssed it right Kim Benson…

    16 Aug 2007
    12:17 PT
  25. I don’t want to get into the middle of the argument about U.S. and Indian jobs and abilities, but I would like to correct one erroneous statement made in comment #23.

    “Did you know that [Adobe's] techsupport and call centers are in India?”

    The implication is that Adobe’s North American technical support and customer service call centers are in India. That’s not accurate.

    Adobe’s North American technical support and customer service call centers are in the United States Northwest, not all that far from Adobe’s Seattle office (the office in which the bulk of InDesign development occurs, incidentally). I know precisely where the call center is because, from 2001 through 2004, I trained and provided higher level support to the technical support and Expert Support agents there. Some of my friends still work there answering customer calls in English and Spanish.

    Adobe has other call centers around the world to help customers in different regions and languages–Edinburgh, Scotland, Tokyo, Japan, and other places. I don’t doubt they have such an office in India (memory fails me at the moment as to whether they actually do), but I know unequivocally that calls from customers in North America don’t get routed to India.

    16 Aug 2007
    12:52 PT
  26. OK, Quark went to India for the following reasons:
    1. Tax Cuts, 2. salaries at Nano rates compared to that of Denver and Germany, 3. the need to produce products quicker.

    The fact behind point 3. was simply that Enterprise was taking too long to produce anything, why (?), well there wasn’t enough staf in Germany to manage it all. Why (?), well Germany was too expensive

    The fact behind point 2. was the situation that the cool guys and gals in Germany, albeit very skilled were expensive after being at the company for an above-average number of years (in excess of 5-6 years, which is quite something at Quark at that level).

    The fact behind point 1. follows a history of tax-break chasing by the ‘then’ CEO of Quark. Although India was the first time that R&D had ventured out of the covered casing of the US and Europe, for the Operations side of Quark it was the next stage in a decade long history of tax-breaks. Quark has had operations in Ireland, Singapore, the Benelux, Switzerland and then India. The theory is to grab the few years of tax-breaks, then pop off to the next haven.

    Ref: http://www.quarkcity.com

    The idea behind Quark City began with Germany, then moved onto Switzerland, (with plans hanging on our wall there for offices, bars, accomodation etc.), then went to India. But ask yourself why not where the Indian office was? Quark fell out with the person that brought them to that town, from whom they had rented space and building from.

    It was personal, so there went somewhere else. The ‘then’ CEO has since made a few bucks selling most of the land he owned at QuarkCity, probably decided that China is now a possibility.

    … I’m not saying what a global company does is wrong, but Quark did love to have a high turnover of staff – it was basically policy. The chiefs stay, while the mice are ‘continually’ slaughtered. Quark internally was and maybe still is about money, people are not important.

    17 Aug 2007
    07:35 PT
  27. Mr Ray,
    I suggest have a internal anonymous employee forum, which would yield you better insights what your employees feel about you and the way quark is doing. Going up the ladder or down. ! Quark is unnecesarliy spoiling the image Tim Gill had made few decades back.

    Well Wisher!

    17 Aug 2007
    21:20 PT
  28. Dear Quark Partner,

    Quark’s product quality and customer skills problems are legendary. They pre-date the Irish manufacturing facility. These problems have been consistent across all regions where Quark has/had operated facilities and I do not see why they will go away…. since it is the family/company policies that perpetuate the problem. Operating practices and culture of a company influence quality in all aspects more so than the region where the company operates. Honestly, which Quark office do you think was responsible for the QuarkXPress 4.0 problems or the disastrous QPS 2.0? (Hint: Quark India did not start until Q4 of 98) However, you are entitled to your prejudices as much as anyone else is.

    You could go blue in the face blaming certain Quark offices or individuals for the problems today, but the fact is that the battle for the layout market has been won by Adobe. The best Quark can do is retain the niche market it has and work with partners to have XPress interoperate with their solutions. The enterprise strategy conceived by the company in the mid 90′s was excellent and unfortunately for Quark, they could not deliver because of their go it alone and cut corners strategy. What they are left with is a diminished customer base, no serious enterprise product (DDS is still XPress) and a very few good partners.

    I agree with you that Ray and the new management team are the best hope Quark has had since the old guard was let go (TG/RJ/ML/MV) and I hope that Ray keeps his decision making independent and based on true readings of the market than from reports of certain insiders or people with an agenda like you.


    28 Aug 2007
    15:48 PT
  29. I second that, Onlooker.

    This last batch of leadership aimed at mediocrity, and unfortunetely they rarely hit what they aimed for.

    Even more sad is that almost without exception, the Quark employees all feel the same as the ex-Quark employees that have posted above. But they are all scared to death to say what they think because they have witnessed how political retaliation has consistently occured against anyone who dared to point out something that was contrary to the party line. And the party line for the last 5 years was that Quark was awesome and unquestionably on the right track.

    So at the least, Quark’s latest moves show that Quark’s ownership is acknowledging that the company is headed for disaster and is at least trying to divert it. That is the complete opposite of years past when they couldn’t possibly acknowledge the problems because of the political consequences at the company. And it’s pretty hard to change things for the better when you cannot admit that there are problems. When there are no problems, the leadership’s inability to solve any problems is conveniently easy to ignore.

    Can Ray change this culture? From what I have seen so far, the culture has changed Ray more than Ray has changed the culture. Culture 1, Ray 0. But it’s early in the game, and at least they are now trying.

    Ex-Quark #8150

    31 Aug 2007
    15:11 PT
  30. Again today so called retention letts at Quark, and they call it restructuring. I doubt Quark’s senior management has learnt. Nothing just nothing is happening with Quark …
    Its a sinking ship which is also making the employees life more and more tensed…
    Employees afraid of being fired dnt even know what their company has in store for them in the next 6 months……
    In this kind of atmosphere people in India still work.. but Quarks policies would never change…. Earlier customers shouted and now they have none…. Now there would no good employees….

    No log term plan , no policy, in the name of restructuring just layoffs.
    I though ray would change this but likewise others Ray has lost no vision no employee confidence then how can they translate that into customer confidence….
    New policy of retention of 1 year has been introduced that assures that company won’t fire them for an year….
    I doubt if it’ll stay in India afterwards….

    21 Dec 2007
    02:57 PT
  31. and all the ppl who didnt get the “retention” letters are as good as fired….

    09 Jan 2008
    04:49 PT
  32. Retention letters is just another excuse for this sinking ship. All the people including Tech Support call center didn’t get the letter bcoz there is no retention policy for them and secondly, call center is being outsourced to HCL India.Now there are only 250 odd people left and out of those 20% is regular IT staff, finance and HR. What a great Retention policy?????

    09 Jan 2008
    19:59 PT
  33. All this reminds me of the scene in Titanic when Rose asks Mr. Andrews if the ship is sinking?
    Mr. Andrews replies: “I built you a good ship Rose, but in a few hours, all of this will be at the bottom of the ocean… do you remember what I told you about the lifeboats Rose?

    04 Feb 2008
    15:39 PT

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