Twilio axes roughly 1 in 5 staff in fresh round of layoffs
Already decimated staff in September
Twilio on Monday said it plans to cut 17 percent of its workforce and close additional office locations, having previously shed office staff in 2022.
The telephony software and service provider said it expects to incur charges ranging from $100 million to $135 million in workforce reduction expenses.
Twilio is estimated to have almost 9,000 employees, so the cuts should affect about 1,500 people. The company, founded in 2008, is offering laid-off employees 12 weeks of base pay, plus one week for every year of service, among other compensation. It cut 11 percent of its staff just five months ago.
Today is my last day at Twilio.I'm going to take some time before officially going on the job market, but if you have anything interesting for my skill set, my DMs are open!Take care of yourselves and each other 🤗
— Ian Coldwater (@IanColdwater) February 13, 2023
"These changes hurt," said CEO Jeff Lawson in the Form 8-K filing [PDF]. "The weeks ahead will be about processing all this change and working together to acclimate to our new structure. While tremendously difficult, I believe these actions will put us on the right path for executing our strategy and creating an even stronger, more efficient, and more effective Twilio."
The changes also bring reduced company benefits for remaining employees. Twilio's book and wellness allowances are being discontinued, and its Twilio Recharge four-week paid sabbatical, available every three years, is being tossed too. Those eligible currently, or by the end of 2023, can still avail themselves of the perk, but that's it.
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"As part of our shift to remote work, we plan to close some Twilio offices over the next few months, with the intent of maintaining at least a handful of global hubs and satellite offices," said Lawson. "We’ve seen very low office utilization, so we’re going to redirect some of our cost savings into higher travel budgets so you can see one another more often – something we’ve all been missing a lot."
Details about office closures are expected to be revealed starting this week and continuing over the next few months. As we reported last October, the shift to remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to have reduced the value of commercial real estate in the US by about $453 billion.
The layoffs coincide with a company reorganization: Twilio is forming two distinct business units that better reflect distinct operational needs and schedules: Twilio Data & Applications and Twilio Communications.
As part of the reorganization, Lawson requested, and the board approved, a base salary reduction from $134,000 per year to $65,535 per year as of March 1. The bulk of Lawson's compensation, however, has been in awards of company stock. In 2021, for example, the company gave Lawson almost $14 million [PDF] in stock options and restricted stock units.
Twilio's stock was up about 4 percent several hours after the 8-K's release.
Twilio's layoffs are the latest in a season of staff reductions by technology companies. On Friday, we reported that Microsoft was making further cuts to its Surface, HoloLens and Xbox teams, and that Microsoft-owned GitHub and GitLabs were each eliminating jobs.
According to Layoffs.fyi, 340 tech companies have laid off more than 100,000 people since the start of 2023. In all of 2022, the count of tech company job losses came to just under 160,000 among just over 1,000 companies. ®