Late last Thursday night, the CEO and president of GridPoint stepped down.
Soon after, layoffs began.
A large round of layoffs began at the smart grid/retrofit/software company last Friday, according to sources close to the company who have been in contact with employees. Further layoffs are expected this week.
Individuals who placed comments on the article about the change in management (CEO Peter Corsell stepped down to become a non-executive chairman, president Mike Lach decided to pursue "personal interests" and chief strategy officer John Spritos has become interim CEO) said that the company plans to lay off about 200 employees in various locations like Houston and Ottawa. We can't confirm these statements, but our own sources have confirmed that layoffs are indeed occurring. This isn't the first round of layoffs for GridPoint and former insiders say that the mood at the company has steadily declined.
We have contacted GridPoint. We haven't heard anything yet from the company, but we will update you when we do.
Where will the layoffs occur? GridPoint may coalesce around ADMMicro, a energy management company specializing in large government, retail and industrial customers. ADM helped GridPoint land the $28.7 million deal with the U.S. Postal Service. In fact, the Postal Service was an ADM customer, along with DSW Shoes and others, when GridPoint bought the company late last year. As a result, layoffs may come to Standard Renewable Energy, a retrofit company acquired by GridPoint earlier this year, and V2Green, a software company that lets utilities communicate with electric cars. In Standard Renewable's case, the company can replace employees with local contractors and electricians. In V2Green's case, layoffs might be possible because of inactivity. You don't see GridPoint's name come up in the announcements by car makers like Nissan or Ford to build out electric car networks, and municipalities don't mention it either.
"Rumor has it that ADMMicro is the one true gem among the GridPoint portfolio of companies," one former employee wrote.
GridPoint has been through a few strategy shifts in the past. Here is the bullet history:
The Arlington, VA-based company -- which has raised over $200 million from investors -- started out in the early part of the decade promoting a system for managing energy in upper-middle-class homes. Because energy prices were still comparatively low at that point, the market failed to develop.
Later, GridPoint decided to take the software and transform it into an operating system for the grid. To enhance its portfolio, the company went on a buying spree. It bought V2Green, which allows utilities to communicate with electric cars, in 2008, and followed in 2009 with Lixar, which makes building energy management consoles and tools.
This February, GridPoint acquired Standard Renewable Energy, a retrofitter with a solar division, a move that ushered in phase three. Under the new plan, GridPoint started to offer residential and commercial energy retrofits, advice and help on distributed energy generation, and then used the software tools it has concocted over the years to monitor and manage the facilities it touches. The business plan echoes some elements of the business strategies used by EnerNoc, Recurve and SolarCity, and even a few large conglomerates like Johnson Controls and Siemens. As part of the new plan, GridPoint also hired executives from Microsoft and elsewhere to staff key positions.
"We will beat $100 million in revenue in 2010," Corsell told us in March. "We and Silver Spring are by far the most successful [smart grid] companies."