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Hello all,

I'm a former employee of Macromedia. I worked for Macromedia for a very long time and was laid off after the merger with Allaire. Since I worked closely with the seniormost executives in product development, product engineering, marketing, sales and business development, and was privy to the fact that Allaire was going to be bought by Macromedia a year before the "merger" actually was announced.

To deflect the inevitable accusations of a being a disgruntled former employee, let me say first that I am a fan of the company's engineering teams and of the company's products despite my lay off. However, I've read with amusement the posts for the last six months about Macromedia.

Kids, your hair would stand on end if I told you everything I know about the incompetence of the senior most executives at Macromedia, and how the company wasted over 3 MILLION DOLLARS on an extremely incompetently handled foray into the enterprise market starting in January 2000 and ending in October of 2000. This was due to the incompetent management and supervision of Stephen Elop, who is, SURPRISE, Macromedia's new COO!! I am so glad that I'm not at the company anymore once I heard that Elop was appointed COO, because I am certain that he'll cost Macromedia a lot of money in mistakes. His expertise in the web/application market as a whole? None. He was the former COO of Boston Chicken. He was hired at Macromedia to run IT department and was asked to oversee the foray into enterprise software when Macromedia purchased Andromedia in December of 1999. Andromedia became known post-acquisition as Macromedia's 'eBusiness Solutions' division, and Elop was made SVP of eBusiness Solutions unit. It was clear when Macromedia purchased Andromedia (and its two products, which became Aria and Likeminds, datamining and personlization products respecitively) that Aria and Likeminds were broken products. Elop was warned (I know, I was there). Despite this, he foraged ahead and bungled key executive hire after key hire. He blew a key hire on the Vermillion product that cost the product as a whole almost a year in R&D time. He surrounded himself with yes men and women, and by the time it was over, 3.3 million had been wasted. The products didn't work. Elop could not think on his feet and respond and lead effectively, because he knew NOTHING about the products. Customers threatened to sue the company (I know, because I dealt with them). Elop is widely derided and despised by most employees of Macromedia. In fact, he has a nickname: Chicken. So his recent appointment to COO alonwas alone enough to make me nervous about my Macromedia stock.

The recent layooffs? Rather than cutting redundancies in the already grossly inefficient Finance, HR, Payroll and Marketing departments, the senior execs (CEO Rob Burgess, CFO Betsey Nelson, and yes, Elop) have instead chosen to lay off engineering, product management, and high performing sales personnel, along with badly needed IT staff. Lean and mean? More like badly needed resources for future company health being amputated.

Partners are sh*****g bricks because Macromedia cannot fulfill engineering committments for technical integrations, because tons of engineering staff have been laid off. I witnessed this firsthand.

Employee checks were bouncing the last month I was there. Also, Payroll has made errors in vendor selection of payroll processing that has cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars (I know this for a fact).

The Controller of Macromedia, Martin Aquino, wastes hundreds of thousands of company dollars on limousines, private parties for his friends, and has the company pay for an expensive SF penthouse for him (despite the fact that he lives in Moss Beach) because he works such 'long hours.' Aquino works on average, in my direct experience, about six hours a day. Why he still has his job is a mystery. Aquino also has a tendency to charge to his company credit card such items as clothing..very expensive clothing. And then forgets to pay the company back.

Take a good, hard look and think before you snatch up Macromedia stock. The politicized and poisonous atmosphere at the senior most levels poisons the rest of the company and lowers company efficiency. Millions are wasted because incompetent people run things incompetently. Yes, the products still rock! But for how long?
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