Twilio lays off 930 employees: 5 big things to know

clock • 7 min read
Twilio CEO Lawson takes "full responsibility" for the decision
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Twilio CEO Lawson takes "full responsibility" for the decision

"I take responsibility for choosing to grow our team faster... And now, I also own the decision to become more focused - resulting in this layoff," says CEO Jeff Lawson.

Twilio is laying off nearly 1,000 employees, as the cloud communications specialist says it simply grew too fast and needs to focus on profitability and core priorities.

However, some of the statements made by Twilio CEO and co-founder Jeff Lawson to its more than 8,500 employees this week have raised eyebrows, including calling the layoffs a "wise" move.

"I'm not going to sugarcoat things. A layoff is the last thing we want to do, but I believe it's wise and necessary," Lawson said in a letter to employees.

Additionally, the CEO said his $3 billion company was "particularly focused" on making sure Twilio layoffs were "carried out through an anti-racist/anti-oppression lens."

Twilio CEO: "I take responsibility"

Lawson admitted it was somewhat his fault Twilio was laying off approximately 11 percent of its global workforce, because of his desire to grow the company too quickly and beyond its main priorities.

"I take responsibility for choosing to grow our team faster and to pursue many priorities beyond [Twilio's] four priorities over the recent years. And now, I also own the decision to become more focused - resulting in this layoff."

Lawson said Twilio's four key priorities include investing in its platform reliability and trust, increasing profitability of messaging, accelerating Segment adoption and scaling its Flex customer base.

The San Francisco-based company had more than 275,000 active customer accounts as of June.

How Twilio decided on layoffs

On Monday, Twilio's Compensation and Talent Management Committee of the board of directors approved a "restructuring plan" for the company, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The plan 'is designed to reduce operating costs, improve operating margins and shift the company's selling capacity to accelerate software sales,' Twilio said in its filing. 'The Restructuring Plan includes elimination of approximately 11 percent of the company's current workforce.'

Twilio executives began notifying team members affected by the restructuring plan on Wednesday.

"Today, it's okay to be a bit shocked and feel sad. And to support your colleagues," said Lawson. "I am confident that we'll look back at this as a difficult time - but one that set up Twilio well for the future."

Computing's sister site CRN, where this story was originally published, reviewed several of Twilio's filings with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. Here are the five key things you need to know about Twilio laying off 11 percent of its workforce.

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