...It is left to the reader to judge the reasons behind the decision to shut down the Varian NMR operation in this ruthless manner; it is perhaps too soon to reach any meaningful verdict. Future MBA student projects will doubtless examine how it was possible to pay an immense cash sum to acquire another company, and then close it down after just four short years. The wider science community will deplore the massive and irreplaceable loss of personnel and expertise in the key areas of chemistry, structural biology and clinical imaging. Here the most widespread reaction will be incomprehension.
There remains an acute sense of loss, resentment, and even betrayal, not least at the lay-off of hundreds of former employees, many of whom were popular and respected members of the NMR family. Scientists in general will mourn the disappearance of an enterprise that contributed so much to research, that worked so hard to popularize NMR in chemistry, that greatly extended the scope and performance of spectrometers, that enabled users to devise a rich field of new pulse programs, and that bequeathed a valuable legacy for future instrument development. Colleagues in other branches of science will feel a chill wind: if a management misjudgment can lead to such a sudden and irreparable loss of personnel and expertise in a field so central to progress in so many areas, we are all losers...Read the whole thing.