Twitter announced plans today to layoff 336 employees, or around eight percent of its workforce. The move follows reports last week that cited “imminent layoffs” as soon as Jack Dorsey reclaimed his position as the CEO of Twitter.
Dorsey tweeted an email sent to employees about the layoffs, stating that the job cuts are part of a “streamlined roadmap” for the company’s products — Twitter, Vine, and Periscope. Most of the layoffs are targeted at the engineering division, but it will still remain the largest part of the company. Dorsey plans to restructure the engineering team to be “more light and nimble,” capable of making decisions on the fly.
Twitter currently employs 4,100 people, double the amount it hired two years ago before the IPO. In that time, the user base has grown less than 50 percent, struggling to get past 350 million active monthly users, while Facebook’s Instagram darts past 400 million.
With Dorsey at the helm, revitalizing Twitter with new features is becoming the major focus internally. “The roadmap is focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact,” Dorsey said in the email, citing the news curation platform Moments as just one part of the roadmap.
Twitter has not made any future product plans public, but Dorsey asked employees to contact him directly with any ideas. He even responded to Kim Kardashian’s post about editing tweets saying it was a great idea, but two months on, it is still on the waiting list.
Reports before Dorsey joined Twitter painted a rather bleak picture of the internal management at the company. Employees were leaving, executives were flogging stock, and investors were clearly unhappy with the lack of focus. This new set of layoffs seems intended to get Twitter back on track and inspire those who remain to innovate.
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