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ShareFile founder Lipson pledges to help Citrix workers being laid off

Oct, 4 2017, 11:10 AM

Jesse Lipson, the founder of ShareFile who built it "from nothing" to selling the software firm to Citrix in 2011, calls the layoffs being made "very painful." He also says he'll work to help those losing jobs to find other opportunities.

"Having spent 11 years building ShareFile from nothing, including five great years at Citrix helping with many products and initiatives beyond ShareFile, it's very painful to read about so many people being impacted by the changes," Lipson told The Skinny shortly after news about the layoffs was confirmed by Citrix early Wednesday.

Lipson left Citrix, where he led its expansion in Raleigh and the building of a new headquarters as well as hundreds of new jobs, in March. And he says he hasn't forgotten the people who worked for him.

"It's a really tough day for many folks and in the coming weeks I'll certainly do my best to connect people with opportunities in the area," Lipson said.

Why he left

While rumors of a possible Citrix sale or merger have floated around for months and Citrix named its fourth CEO in two years earlier this summer, Lipson says his own departure had nothing to do with the company's challenges.

"My decision to leave Citrix was not related to any recent news but was really more of a personal decision to go back to startups and try to build another company as founder and CEO," he explained.

Lipson said he didn't have "have any more context behind these decisions than what is publicly available," but noted that he believes Raleigh will remain a vital part of Citrix - and its ShareFile team.

Confidence in ShareFile, company

"I do have confidence in David Henshall [who was named CEO in July; he had been CFO] and other leaders at Citrix to balance the long-term best interests of employees, customers, and shareholders," Lipson said.

".I also have confidence that Raleigh will remain a very strategic location for Citrix for all of the reasons it became a strategic location in the first place: great access to talent, great quality of life with lower cost of living than many areas, and a growing cloud business (ShareFile) that is primarily based here."

In statements to WRAL TechWire, a Citrix spokesperson echoed Lipson's comments about the importance of ShareFile and Raleigh while also saying hiring would continue in Raleigh despite the layoffs.