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Valve lays off hardware engineers as director of business departs, reports claim

A number of reports from gaming and tech news sites claim that Valve has laid off a number of employees in its hardware and Android departments, and that director of business Jason Holtman has left the company.

The reports began circulating yesterday evening following a tweet from hardware engineer Jeri Ellsworth, who said that she had been fired earlier that same day. Ellsworth was involved in the development of Steam's Big Picture Mode, an optimization of Steam's interface for use with controllers and televisions.

This morning, Gamasutra reported that "several" employees had been let go from the company, their sources saying that the company was pondering "large decisions." Gamasutra said that the cuts were across a number of departments, namely the hardware engineering and Android development branches of Valve's staff. A user on the Quarter to Three forums claimed that "sources in the area" were reporting that 25 had been cut from the company, though this number has not been confirmed.

Develop reports that director of business Jason Holtman has also left the company. Holtman joined Valve in 2005, where he worked on creating partnerships with developers to get their titles on the Steam platform. Develop says no explanation for Holtman's departure has been given. Holtman's profile — seen in this cache of Valve's Company page— has also been removed from Valve's site.

We've reached out to Valve for more information on the reported staff changes.

Update: A page on Valve's website called "Our people" contains an alphabetical list of the current company roster. A Google Cache version showing information from Feb. 5, 2013 lists Keith Huggins, Moby Francke, Tom Leonard, Realm Lovejoy, Marc Nagel, Bay Raitt and Elan Ruskin, all of whom have been removed from the current, live version. However, LinkedIn profiles for each continue to list Valve as their current employer.

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