Avid Keeps Sibelius, Employee Confirms UK Office Closure

Avid Technology, the company behind the high-end video editing suite Avid and the owners of Sibelius software, announced Monday that it had agreed to sell its consumer audio and video product lines.

Gary Greenfield, CEO of Avid, noted that “by streamlining and simplifying operations, we expect to deliver improved financial performance and partner more closely with our enterprise and professional customers,” but no updates specific to the future of the Sibelius line were addressed in the release.

Avid PR contact Ian Bruce, responding to a direct request for comment, stated, “Specifically on Sibelius, this was not part of the sales we announced this week. Sibelius stays with Avid, and is an important brand and product for us going forward.”

Bruce did not respond to follow-up questions regarding unconfirmed reports that Avid is closing the UK Sibelius office and that the work will be moved to a team in the Ukraine to cut costs. He also did not address Avid’s plans for product support during this transition time nor comment on the next development release of the software.

Avid bought Sibelius in 2006 from its founders Ben and Jonathan Finn. On Twitter, Sibelius Senior Product Manager Daniel Spreadbury confirmed the closure of the UK office and that development is moving elsewhere. It is still unknown what this means for Sibelius’s UK staff.

When asked how Sibelius connects to Avid’s stated focus on enterprise and professional customers, Bruce said, “Sibelius is widely used by our Media Enterprise customers (broadcast, film and others), educational customers, and Post/Pro, and is regarded as the de facto professional platform for writing, playing, printing and sharing music.”

On Tuesday Avid conducted a conference call with slides to announce the sales, and subsequently posted the slide deck. The slides outline Avid’s focus on professional post-production customers and a more streamlined set of products. The slides make no mention of Sibelius.

Composers took to social media to share their concerns and request information from the company.


Twitter Discussion of Sibelius

Sibelius Senior Product Manager Daniel Spreadbury, Avid representative Marianna Montague, and composer Melissa Dunphy comment on this week’s Avid news.

Storified by · Thu, Jul 05 2012 10:43:07

When the news broke, composer Melissa Dunphy took to twitter and was contacted by Avid representative Marianna Montague:
.@avidmarianna Why are we hearing that the UK office has been shut down? These are the people who made Sibelius as wonderful as it is.Melissa Dunphy
@mormolyke Sibelius is not part of the sale Avid announced. Sibelius stays w/ Avid and is an important brand & product moving forward.Marianna Montague
@mormolyke we have restructured ops including closing some facilities but this shouldn’t be confused w/ our commit 2 products like Sibelius.Marianna Montague
@avidmarianna Sibelius users are extremely concerned about this, especially since the UK office was the driving force behind Sibelius.Melissa Dunphy
@avidmarianna For many of us, UK developers are our point of contact – people whom we trust & talk to about improvements to the software.Melissa Dunphy
@avidmarianna Are you planning on issuing a statement re: what will happen to Sibelius development now that the main office has been closed?Melissa Dunphy
A little later in the day, and after an outpouring of supportive tweets from many composers, Sibelius’ Senior Product Manager, Daniel Spreadbury, took to Twitter himself, confirming part of the story.
Thanks to everybody who has expressed concern for me and my colleagues today. It means a lot!dspreadbury
@dspreadbury Did Avid divest Sibelius? Their own website and investor call replay doesn’t directly mention it one way or the other.Matt Erion
@Stonewing No divestment, but it is closing our office and moving development elsewhere. Future of everybody in our office is unclear.dspreadbury
@dspreadbury FWIW, your customer service and all-round awesomeness was a big reason I always raved about Sibelius. Thank you.Melissa Dunphy

(reporting contributed by Molly Sheridan and Kevin Clark)
Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified Daniel Spreadbury as David Spreadbury. Thanks to commenter Hilton Cubbitt for pointing out the mistake. We apologize for the error.

4 thoughts on “Avid Keeps Sibelius, Employee Confirms UK Office Closure

  1. Pingback: OUPblog » Blog Archive » Saving Sibelius: Software in peril

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