Managed Services

Twilio Announces Layoffs, Reiterates Channel Commitment

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On Monday, communication tools company Twilio said it would lay off about 300 workers, or 5% of its workforce, due to underperformance of its data and applications business.

In a letter to employees included with regulatory filings, CEO and co-founder Jeff Lawson said that Twilio had overachieved on its goals in Communications, its TD&A segment "underachieved on growth.” The company's TD&A segment includes Segment, Twilio’s customer data platform (CDP) product, and Flex, its digital engagement offering.

Lawson said Twilio would take “some steps to create a more effective GTM motion for Flex and recalibrate our investments in Segment ... Reducing our Segment and Flex GTM teams will also mean impacts to some supporting functions, primarily Marketing and Finance." Lawson added that the company's CustomerAI vision was resonating with the market, and the workforce changes could allow more resources to be devoted to that area.

In addition, Lawson said in the statement, Twilio will end-of-life (EOL) Twilio Programmable Video as a standalone product. "Given it’s such a niche area and a relatively small part of our portfolio, we believe partnering with video industry leaders is the best way to ensure long-term product innovation for our customers. Removing Programmable Video from our portfolio will also allow Communications to more effectively focus on our pillar products - Messaging, Voice, and Email."

Tech Industry Layoffs

Broadcom, Google, Amazon, Snap, Splunk, LinkedIn, Cisco, MariaDB and SecureWorks all recently announced layoffs. Other mass layoffs recently included Intel, Wish and LinkedIn in the San Francisco Bay area.

At the beginning of September, Rapid7 announced a restructuring plan following disappointing second-quarter results, resulting in the layoffs of about 18% of the company’s workforce.

Similarly, AppSec firm Snyk laid off 128 people in April. Cloud security vendor Zscaler announced layoffs after what it called a rough fiscal second quarter. Software tools giant Atlassian laid off 5% of its workforce as it “shifted priorities.” 

Accenture announced yet another round of layoffs in Austin in early October after axing 19,000 jobs, and Veeam laid off 3.8% of its workforce in August.

Oxford, U.K.-based platform security vendor Sophos in January laid off 10% of its staff, or 450 workers, while San Francisco-based identity security giant Okta axed 5% of its workers – or roughly 300 employees in February., a website that has documented tech company layoffs since the COVID-19 pandemic began, reported that approximately 242,000 employees have been laid off thus far in 2023.

Twilio's Channel Strategy

A Twilio spokesperson told CRN that despite the layoffs, “Our channel strategy does not change with today’s announcement ... Our partners play a critical role in the success of Twilio,” according to the statement. “And, we will continue to support growing our partner community.”

In the email to employees, Lawson said that while "The decision to eliminate these roles was a hard one ... we’re confident it’s in the best interest of our customers and the long-term health of our business ... While I know it’s hard to undergo so much change, it’s all part of the necessary transition to profitable growth. Despite, and because of, these changes – I believe we are increasingly set up to balance the needs of profit and growth, and enabled to execute on the CustomerAI opportunity ahead of us."