Discord cuts 17% of workforce, joining growing list of tech companies downsizing to start 2024

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Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Discord will lay off 17% of the company’s workforce, which equates to 170 employees, a spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

The company, which provides a popular messaging service used by gamers, previously eliminated about 40 jobs in August and joins a growing list of companies to announce cuts at the start of this year.

Discord CEO Jason Citron said in an internal memo that the layoffs are necessary for Discord to become more efficient after a hiring boom in 2020, according to The Verge, which first reported on the latest job cuts. Discord employed 870 people as of August, based on data from PitchBook.

Discord, which ranked 18th on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list for 2023, was valued at about $15 billion in 2021 at the height of the tech boom. The market contracted dramatically for high-risk tech in 2022 as soaring inflation and rising interest rates crimped growth and made capital costs more expensive.

Unlike social web platforms such as Meta and Snap, Discord doesn’t rely on online advertising, but is instead supported by subscribers who pay a monthly fee for extra features such as the ability to stream high-definition video. In October, the company debuted an online marketplace that lets users purchase digital avatars and other virtual goods to customize their accounts.

Layoffs have been a big story across the tech landscape since the calendar turned to 2024.

Audible, Amazon’s audiobooks unit, is cutting 5% of its staff in an effort to become “leaner and more efficient,” CEO Bob Carrigan wrote in a memo Thursday. Google parent Alphabet laid off hundreds of workers on Wednesday to focus on the company’s “biggest product priorities,” a spokesperson said.

Earlier this week, Unity Software said it would lay off 25% of its workforce, while security firm Trend Micro said it would cut 2% of its global staff.

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