Qualtrics culls 780 jobs amid 'complex' growth spurt

Staff get Zoom meeting to hear how they might be hit after phase of rapid hiring ends

Qualtrics, which creates web software that allows users to create surveys and generate reports based on employees or customer sentiments, has axed 780 roles across the business.

Announcing the departure of around 14 percent of the 5,600-strong workforce, CEO Zig Serafin claimed he was making the decision for the good of the business.

"Rapid hiring was essential to enable our growth up to this point, but it also created complexity that does not support continued growth at our scale," Serafin said. "Simply put, the organizational structures, work processes, and the way we made decisions previously don't work for the company we've become, or the company we aspire to be."

He apologized to those leaving and thanked them for their service.

The experience management software specialist also said several hundred roles would be set to change or move locations over the next year, with all teams in the company involved. To explain the overhaul and how they would be affected, employees were then invited to "a specific Zoom meeting" to talk about their employment status and next steps.

Founded in 2002, Qualtrics sells market research and survey software, analyzing "experience data" on customers, employees, products, and services.

Shortly before it was expected to float on the stock exchange, Qualtrics was bought by German ERP giant SAP for $8 billion in 2018, which attempted to fold the set of products into its own portfolio.

However, in mid-2020, SAP announced plans to float Qualtrics as a separate company. SAP CEO Christian Klein said at the time it had hit an annual subscription growth rate of 40 percent, but he wanted to "increase Qualtrics's autonomy and enable it to expand its footprint both within SAP's customer base and beyond."

SAP remained a majority shareholder before Qualtrics was bought by private equity firm Silver Lake and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) in a transaction worth $12.5 billion.

Following the move, SAP said it expected to continue to work closely with the Qualtrics. Klein said the German giant "intends to remain a close go-to-market and technology partner, servicing joint customers and continuing to contribute to Qualtrics' success." ®

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