Discord, the popular social messaging platform, recently underwent a significant downsizing, resulting in a 17 percent reduction in its workforce. Among the impacted employees was Chloe Shih, a Product Manager responsible for creator revenue and content monetization on the platform. Chloe, with prior work experience at tech giants Google and Meta, expressed her shock at the unexpected job cut in a video shared on her YouTube channel.
In a screenshot of the official email sent by Discord's HR team to Chloe, she revealed the disheartening message that her role had been impacted by the company-wide reduction in force. This event came as a surprise not only to Chloe but also to other notable employees, referred to as the 'GOATs' (Greatest of All Time), who held prominent positions across various functions within Discord.
Discord CEO Jason Citron announced the decision in an all-hands meeting, explaining that the layoffs were part of an effort to enhance clarity and efficiency in delivering the company's vision. According to an internal memo obtained by The Verge, 170 staff members from different teams were affected by these recent cuts.
The rationale behind the layoffs goes beyond cost-cutting; it aims to address the issue of overstaffing. Citron acknowledged that Discord had expanded too rapidly, with a fivefold increase in headcount since 2020. This growth resulted in an overwhelming workload, causing a loss of focus and efficiency for the company.
Discord's downsizing aligns with a broader trend in the tech sector, with major players like Google and Amazon also implementing significant workforce reductions. Google's layoffs, affecting a few hundred employees, primarily targeted hardware, digital assistant, and engineering teams, with a focus on the Google Assistant and augmented reality hardware projects. Similarly, Amazon announced plans to downsize its Prime Video and MGM Studios division, impacting 'several hundred' workers involved in streaming and studio operations. Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, also revealed intentions to cut around 35 percent of its staff.
Meta, the parent company of Discord, joined the wave of layoffs, announcing plans to trim its workforce. Instagram, a Meta-owned platform, bore the brunt of this decision, with 60 employees, mainly in Technical Program Manager roles, facing termination or the option to reapply for their positions. While the number of affected workers is comparatively lower than the extensive layoffs witnessed in the previous year, these recent workforce reductions in prominent tech companies signal a concerning trend that echoes the challenges faced in the industry.