The people who were let go were told to leave immediately and there is a staff meeting getting underway today at 4pm (CT) for those who remain.
I don't yet know if there was a funding reduction somewhere or if this is a strategic shift but have messages in to EAA.
Update 4:43 p.m. More information from inside:
* The cuts appear to be more than 35 people.
* Two staff laisons to EAA Radio were cut.
* The entire E-pubs division was cut (except Ric Reynolds).
* All video and photography was cut. (Goodbye, Tips for Homebuilders?)
A recently appointed VP (& new head of AirVenture) is rumored to have resigned in protest.
Update 5:24 p.m. Just got an email response from Dick Knapinski.
Here's the release he just put out:
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (Jan. 12, 2012) — EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower today announced changes that will allow the 170,000-member organization to better fulfill its mission to grow participation in aviation. EAA is strengthening and reshaping the organization to capture the opportunities within its long-term strategic plan. As a result, the organization will be adding important capabilities, and aligning its resources with strategic priorities
“This will strengthen our organization in several key areas to more effectively meet the needs of our members, donors and aviators,” Hightower said. “We’ve made these moves after spending the past year reviewing EAA’s operations to best align them with the organization’s goals, and listening to many EAA members and supporters regarding the most valued areas of EAA.”
The changes include the addition of new positions, transfers of responsibilities, and the elimination of some positions. There are also senior leadership changes as well, including:
Jeff Skiles – Vice President, Chapters and Youth Education. Skiles is already well known as one of the famed “Miracle on the Hudson” pilots and for the past two years as Young Eagles co-chairman. He brings a wealth of aviation experience and passion to this new role as EAA strengthens and expands its global Chapter network and industry-leading Youth Education initiatives and programs.
Chad Jensen – Manager of EAA’s Homebuilders Community. Jensen brings extensive homebuilding experience and aviation skills to this important role as EAA increases its knowledge and information capabilities for Homebuilders and the amateur-built segment of aviation. He will have extensive involvement with Flight Advisors, Tech Counselors and the passionate community of builders.
Heidi Strand of Blue Door Consulting in Oshkosh will lead EAA Marketing on an interim basis while EAA completes a search for a Vice President of Marketing. Strand will lead EAA’s brand and marketing capabilities and also be responsible for EAA digital media properties and strategy.
Vice President, AirVenture. This newly created role will lead the world’s premier aviation event to continued growth and importance as the preeminent general aviation marketplace.
“Much thought and collaboration has been invested in the reshaping process to make EAA a stronger organization, better equipped to lead aviation and welcome the next generation of aviators,” Hightower said.
Update 5:29 p.m. RVer Chad Jensen, homebuilt community manager, moves to senior leadership position.
Update 5:47 p.m. More names of the departed leaking out: Steve Buss (Young Eagles and Chapter relations),
Update 5:51 p.m. Adam Smith, AirVenture manager and VP resigned.
Update 7:13 p.m. Also out: Jim Koepnick of EAA photo, Rob McAllister of EAA video. There is still video/photo capability Jim Soyk, still on staff.