Tuesday, October 17, 2023

More Stack Overflow Layoffs

Prashanth Chandrasekar (Hacker News):

This is why we have been so focused on our path to profitability, even as we commit to the continued product innovation of Stack Overflow for Teams and the health of the public platform by building out our AI/ML capabilities. This year we took many steps to spend less. Changes have been pursued through the lens of minimizing impact to the lives of Stackers. Unfortunately, those changes were not enough and we have made the extremely difficult decision to reduce the company’s headcount by approximately 28%.

As we finish this fiscal year and move into the next, we are focused on investing in our product. As such, we are significantly reducing the size of our go-to-market organization while we do so. Supporting teams and other teams across the organization are impacted as well. As I mentioned, our focus for this fiscal year and into the next is profitability and that, along with macroeconomic pressures led to today’s changes.

Wes Davis (Hacker News):

After the team doubled its employee base last year, Chandrasekar told The Verge’s Nilay Patel in an interview that about 45 percent of those hires were for its go-to-market sales team, which he said was “obviously the largest team.”

James Rogers (Hacker News):

The data show that 1,059 tech companies have laid off 240,193 employees thus far in 2023. Last year, 1,024 tech companies laid off a total of 154,336 employees, according to Layoffs.fyi.


Update (2023-10-27): Ayana Archie (Hacker News):

The Microsoft-owned social media platform LinkedIn is laying off nearly 700 employees, it said in a statement Monday.

About 668 positions across the company’s engineering, product, talent and finance departments will be eliminated. The announcement comes after the company said in May it was laying off 716 employees.

Joshua Bote (Hacker News):

Waymo, the robotaxi company whose presence has expanded across San Francisco in recent months, has slashed jobs for the third time this year.

Update (2023-11-20): Sophie McEvoy (via Hacker News):

Unity has released its financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2023, announcing layoffs despite a significant growth in revenue and a drop in overall net loss.


Update (2023-11-22): Victoria Song:

Bungie is laying off around 100 staffers as well as delaying two of its forthcoming titles: Marathon and Destiny 2’s forthcoming expansion, The Final Shape. The latter is now expected to launch in June 2024, while the former won’t be expected until 2025.

The layoffs, first reported by Bloomberg, are part of ongoing cuts within Sony’s PlayStation division.

Update (2023-12-06): Daniel Ek (via Hacker News):

To align Spotify with our future goals and ensure we are right-sized for the challenges ahead, I have made the difficult decision to reduce our total headcount by approximately 17% across the company.


I realize that for many, a reduction of this size will feel surprisingly large given the recent positive earnings report and our performance. We debated making smaller reductions throughout 2024 and 2025. Yet, considering the gap between our financial goal state and our current operational costs, I decided that a substantial action to rightsize our costs was the best option to accomplish our objectives.

Ian King (via Hacker News):

Broadcom Inc. plans to fire almost 1,300 VMware Inc. employees in California following the completion of a $61 billion acquisition that pushed the chipmaker deeper into the software industry.

Anna Tong (Hacker News):

Videogame software provider Unity Software (U.N) will eliminate 265 jobs or 3.8% of its global workforce and end an agreement with a digital video effects company founded by the “Lord of the Rings” director as part of a “reset,” the company said on Tuesday.

Mike Seymour (Hacker News):

It was just in Dec ’21 that Unity completed its acquisition of Weta Digital’s tools, pipeline, technology, and engineering talent. This acquisition was said to be “designed to empower the growing number of game developers, artists, and potentially millions of consumer creators with highly sophisticated content creation tools.” As part of that deal Unity ‘welcomed’ Weta Digital’s world-class engineering talent of 275 engineers who are known internationally for their architecting, building, and maintaining of Weta Digital tools and core pipeline.

Update (2023-12-19): Sara Eisen and Gabrielle Fonrouge (via Hacker News):

Etsy is laying off 11% of its workforce, about 225 employees.

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman noted in a letter to employees that Etsy’s marketplace has more than doubled in size since 2019 but said today’s macroenvironment and competitive realities call for sweeping changes.

Update (2024-01-04): Ashley Capoot (via Hacker News):

Xerox announced plans to cut 15% of its workforce as part of a plan to implement a new organizational structure and operating model.

Update (2024-01-11): Anna Tong (via Hacker News):

Videogame software provider Unity Software will target laying off approximately 25% of its workforce, or 1,800 jobs[…]

Nico Grant (Hacker News):

Google laid off hundreds of workers in several divisions Wednesday night, seeking to lower expenses as it focuses on artificial intelligence and joining a wave of other companies cutting tech jobs this year.

Ash Parrish and Jay Peters:

Twitch is laying off more than 500 employees, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy announced this morning, reportedly accounting for around 35 percent of its staff.

Alex Heath (Hacker News):

Discord is laying off 17 percent of its staff, a move that CEO Jason Citron said is meant to “sharpen our focus and improve the way we work together to bring more agility to our organization.”

Maxwell Strachan (Hacker News):

Forzano is not alone in his pessimism, according to a December survey of 9,338 software engineers performed on behalf of Motherboard by Blind, an online anonymous platform for verified employees. In the poll, nearly nine in 10 surveyed software engineers said it is more difficult to get a job now than it was before the pandemic, with 66 percent saying it was “much harder.”

Nearly 80 percent of respondents said the job market has even become more competitive over the last year. Only 6 percent of the software engineers were “extremely confident” they could find another job with the same total compensation if they lost their job today while 32 percent said they were “not at all confident.”

Update (2024-02-01): Sarah Perez (via Hacker News):

Disney-owned animation studio Pixar is poised to undergo layoffs this year, TechCrunch has learned and the company confirmed. While sources at the company said the layoffs would be significant and as high as 20% — or reductions that would see Pixar’s team of 1,300 dropped to less than 1,000 over the coming months — Pixar says those numbers are too high. Rather, the studio said the number of impacted employees is still being determined due to factors like production schedules and staffing for future greenlit films.

Amanda Silberling:

Audible, the Amazon-owned audiobook company, is laying off 5% of its staff, according to a leaked memo obtained by Business Insider.


Update (2024-03-01): Sony:

The PlayStation community means everything to us, so I felt it was important to update you on a difficult day at our company. We have made the extremely hard decision to announce our plan to commence a reduction of our overall headcount globally by about 8% or about 900 people, subject to local law and consultation processes.

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