Twilio Lays Off 17% of Staff in Second Round of Firings

As Twilio continues its restructuring efforts, 28% of the company have now been shown the door in the last six months.

The Silicon Valley kingpin Twilio has just announced plans to dismiss around 1,500 of its workers — equating to 17% of its total workforce — as part of a continued effort to restructure the company.

These cuts come just five months after the consumer engagement platform cut its personnel down by 11% in September, bringing its culling total to 26% and making this one of the most extensive layoffs we’ve seen in big tech so far — although in pure numbers the likes of Microsoft and Meta lay offs affected many more people.

With Twilio’s stock falling by 67% over the last year and some areas of the business reportedly being “too big”, it’s clear the company is dealing with the consequences of over-hiring throughout the pandemic. Here’s what we know so far.

Twilio Lays Off 1,500 Workers As Part of a Company Restructure

As big tech’s future grows increasingly unstable, communications company Twilio has decided to follow in the footsteps of other major big companies by shedding around 17% of its workforce.

The news was broken in an email sent out this Monday, which was later posted on the company’s website. In this email, Twilio’s CEO, Jeff Lawson, expresses his condolences to those affected and cites the company’s “need to reorganize” as the main impetus for the cuts.

“For the last 15 years, we ran Twilio for growth, building a tremendous customer base, product set, and revenue base. But environments change – and so must we.” – Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson.

Lawson explains that while the company has “very strong cash reserves”, this isn’t enough to get it to the next phase. Instead, significant structural changes, including forming two new business units, Twilio Communications, and Twilio Data & Applications, will be necessary if the firm has any hope of executing its new strategy.

Unfortunately, to make way for these new business units, Twilio’s staffers have been forced to take the brunt. Under Lawson’s own admission, the company’s current workforce is too large to support in conjunction with these new units, which is why around 1,500 have been shown the door.

Twilio’s CEO also revealed that he will be cutting his base salary by almost half to $65,535 per annum, to commit to the company’s renewed vision.

These Cuts Bring up Twilio’s Culling Total to 28%

While these layoffs are quite extensive, they aren’t the first time Twilio has made drastic cuts to personnel. In September last year, the San Francisco-based company fired 800 workers due to their lighting fast expansion throughout the pandemic.

In a letter sent out to employees, Lawson backed the decision as “wise and necessary”, and explained they were about aligning their investments more squarely with its priorities. In a separate blog post posted online, Lawson also announced that these layoffs were in response to the workforce growing “too fast” and “without enough focus” over the past two years.

These series of layoffs bring the company’s staffers to around 6,500, a 28%  decrease from Twlio’s 9,000-strong workforce in September.

Big Tech Continues To Deal With the Post-Covid Fall Out

As demand declines and big tech companies grapple with overstaffing efforts that took place during the pandemic, difficult decisions are needing to be made left right, and center. Unfortunately for many businesses, this is resulting in pretty severe layoffs.

Just this month, leading tech firms like eBay, Yahoo, and Meta have been forced to cut personnel to remain competitive and appease investors. Even the booming media empire Disney has been forced to axe 7,000 workers – equating to 7% of its workforce – as part of a massive corporate restructuring effort.

While the future remains uncertain, it’s likely this series of layoffs will grind to a halt anytime soon. So for a list of companies that have made job cuts in tech, stay up to date with our updated layoffs guide.

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Written by:
Isobel O'Sullivan (BSc) is a senior writer at with over four years of experience covering business and technology news. Since studying Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also worked as a freelance tech researcher. Isobel’s always up to date with the topics in employment and data security and has a specialist focus on POS and VoIP systems.
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