Capture One Lays Off Staff Amid a ‘Significant’ Internal Restructure

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Capture One is undergoing what it characterizes as “significant changes” internally which has resulted in an unspecified number of layoffs at the company. It is at least the second round of turnover since it announced it was switching to a subscription model.

PetaPixel first learned of the layoffs last week, but the company only confirmed them this morning.

“Last Monday we made an internal announcement about significant changes for the Capture One team. These are not actions we take lightly and the people that were affected by them were treated with respect and empathy,” Capture One tells PetaPixel.

“Although we have nothing specific to announce today, as the photography industry continues to evolve and we at Capture One make progress with our strategy as a standalone company, we’re implementing changes that align our investments with the areas where we’re seeing increases in customer satisfaction and traction with our users. 

“These changes are difficult, but we’re confident they position us better to advance in our mission to provide professional photographers with the most powerful creative and collaboration tools.”

The company did not provide details on how many were affected, but PetaPixel has learned that a significant portion of the communications team has been let go. Of note, this is the second time in the last year this particular team has been gutted. Not long after the announcement that the company would be moving to a subscription-only model, most of the public-facing communications team was let go. Around this time, Capture One also ended its contracts with external public relations support.

For several months, Capture One went without a communications team — at least one operating in North America. That changed by November when Capture One finally replaced that group, but that team has now been, again, let go after a brief stint that lasted only a few months.

It is not clear at this time what kind of internal restructure the company is going through or its scale beyond the Capture One’s own use of the word “significant,” but the last year has been difficult for the company as it has grappled with widespread pushback in response to its announcement that it would move away from perpetual software licenses. It didn’t help that the company made the announcement not long after it concluded a 50% off sale on perpetual licenses, leaving buyers feeling as though they had been bait and switched.

The move to a subscription model came with the promise that current customers would be rewarded for their loyalty, but details of that program later revealed it to just be a one-time discount, further raising the hackles of customers.

Capture One’s 2023 did not get much better from there. In June, the long-awaited iPhone app failed to impress. In December, Capture One discontinued its Express software.

While the bulk of the changes affecting customers all took place starting last year, it is unlikely the company’s new owners are not involved. In 2019, private equity group Axcel acquired a majority stake in Phase One, the parent company of Capture One and makers of the very expensive medium format cameras. Axcel highlighted the software side of the business as the most profitable at the time of acquisition. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We’re very happy that we’ve been able to find a new owner in Axcel, which has significant experience of developing technology businesses,” CEO Henrik Håkonsson said at the time. “We see a significant opportunity to grow and further strengthen our position in the coming years. I’m convinced that, together with Axcel, we can take Phase One to the next level.”