Moog Music releases statement on layoffs

Moog Music has responded to concerns about last week’s layoffs in their Asheville, NC production facility, via their Facebook page.

The statement comes after nearly a full week of outcry from local and international press and social media. There’s not much additional detail or insight added here, but we can extract a few takeaways from the statement – for what it’s worth:

  • The cuts were in the “skilled production team.”
  • Some instruments will now be manufactured elsewhere. “Trusted partners” actually even sounds like contract manufacturing, but that’s a reality of a lot of current music electronics manufacture.
  • For now, at least, Moog is committing to keeping at least some design, engineering, and service in Asheville. (The statement is worded in a slightly opaque way in terms of what may be moved elsewhere.)

There’s no mention of InMusic, which has a history of making cutbacks in production in some past acquisitions (like Rane). And statement is worded as a collective statement by Moog, even though, ultimately, this was a management decision. It may have been a necessary decision, but at least to the public, no one is putting their name on it.

It is worth reflecting that employees get continued compensation and benefits – and I do hope everyone at Moog lands well after this. Losing a job is always tough. But in music and music tech, independent and freelance labor is in a far more precarious position. That’s not directly relevant to Moog, but – as always – it’s relevant to the rest of our community, especially as we look to potentially challenging economic times ahead.

Here’s the statement:

We want to thank everyone who has reached out over the last several days to check in on us. We also want to share some important information from the Moog factory.

Last Friday, we parted ways with a number of our skilled production team members. For those of us still with Moog, these employees represent friends, siblings, spouses. This hasn’t been easy for anyone. Please know that these folks were provided continued compensation and benefits as they plan their next career steps.

It has always been our mission to manufacture Moog instruments in our local community.

Moog Music headquarters will remain in Asheville, NC. We will continue to design, engineer, service, and manufacture instruments here. We will also manufacture a selection of our instruments with trusted partners who are dedicated to maintaining the quality and sound of Moog products. Some of these partners have already been helping us for years to create instruments you know and love.

These changes are necessary for the future of Moog as we continue to face the ongoing challenges of manufacturing electronic instruments in America.

We have a talented group of employees in Asheville who are committed to bringing you the best-sounding electronic instruments in the world. We’re here because we love these instruments, and we will continue to stay focused on developing inspiring musical tools for our creative community.

We’re grateful for the passion and care you have shown us. We ask that you please continue to show consideration to our employees and keep an open mind as we put the finishing touches on some of our most innovative instruments yet.

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