Update #3: Garry's Mod creator Garry Newman tweets his discovery of a number of differences on Valve's staff page. Using a tool called Diff Checker, Newman notes that the following employees are no longer present on the at the company:
– Moby Francke, Half-Life 2 character designer and Team Fortress 2 art lead
– Jason Holtman, director of business development for Steam and Steamworks
– Keith Huggins, character animator and animator for Team Fortress 2 “Meet the” video series
– Tom Leonard, software engineer for Half-Life 2 and Left 4 Dead
– Realm Lovejoy, artist for Half-Life 2, Portal, and Left 4 Dead. She was also part of the original DigiPen-turned-Valve team that created Narbacular Drop, the inspiration for Portal
– Marc Nagel, test lead for Half-Life, Counter-Strike, and patch updates
– Bay Raitt, animator for Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal
– Elan Ruskin, engine programmer for Left 4 Dead, Portal 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
– Matthew Russell, animator for Team Fortress 2 “Meet the” video series
Update #2: Industry news website Develop-Online reports that Jason Holtman, Valve's Director of Business has left the company subsequent to the departure of Jeri Ellsworth. It is unknown if Holtman is one of the 25 employees reported to have been laid off.
Update: Gamasutra are confirming that Ellsworth isn't the only one to depart from the company today. It's unconfirmed at this point if the tally of 25 people rumoured before is accurate. The cuts haven't been limited to the hardware department, affecting those in android development also.
It's difficult to wrap your head around Valve firing anyone at all, not to mention an integral member of their hardware research team. What we're lead to understand of their corporate process and environment they pretty much create a place where people never need/ever have to leave.
Jeri Ellsworth, who had up until now been prototyping controllers for the Steam Box, tweeted earlier that she'd been let go.
Yup.Got fired today.Time for new exciting projects.
— Jeri Ellsworth (@jeriellsworth) February 13, 2013
She hasn't been forthcoming with further information detailing the circumstances of her departure (just a brief farewell photo), nor has anyone from Valve come forward with any more insight.
Ellsworth is famous in hacking and inventing through her popular youtube channel.
It's unconfirmed at this point, but a post at NeoGAF and several other sources suggest she might not have been the only one given the boot.
We'll update as this develops.