DENVER -- Rivet Software was a darling of the media and
politicians looking to tell a good news story about job creation in
Colorado. This week, the company quietly laid off half its workforce in
Employees familiar with the situation say Rivet CEO Mike
Rohan called about 150 workers into the cafeteria at its Denver Tech
Center headquarters and delivered the shocking news. Some employees
stood and walked out as Rohan spoke.
"It was very, very depressing," Rohan told 9Wants to Know
investigator Kyle Clark, stressing that the layoffs were the only way
"to try to stay afloat."
Rohan blamed the loss of a partnership with the commercial printer, RR Donnelley, based in Chicago.
In addition to the approximately 150 layoffs in Denver, Rohan said Rivet also parted ways with 400 workers in India.
"Every company has a story, has ups and downs," Rohan said. "This is a down."
Rivet had basked in years of praise from media outlets, including
9NEWS, and from politicians including former Governor Bill Ritter and
Governor John Hickenlooper, who spoke with Rivet employees on May 16,
Video of Hickenlooper's visit posted on the Rivet website shows
then-CEO Patrick Quinlan (who was replaced in December 2011) extolling
the company's story as "the most exciting and innovative company in
During his visit, Hickenlooper told Rivet employees the well-worn
story of the time he was laid off along with fellow geologists after
their company was bought out.
"Should you ever be laid off... I don't think that will happen to
Rivet, but we got two years severance," Hickenlooper told the crowd,
which laughed in response.
"Let's just say it wasn't the end of the world," Hickenlooper said.
This week, a former Rivet employee told 9Wants To Know they have not received anything in writing about severance packages.
When asked if Rivet's success had been overblown by politicians and
journalists eager for a good news story, Rohan said that wasn't the
"Rivet is very much a success," he said. "This doesn't change Rivet's
potential or what we've achieved or what we will be able to achieve in
the future. This is really almost a rebirth for us."