Discord’s Rapid Expansion Leads to Layoffs of 170 Employees

Discord has become a mainstay for many online communities in recent years, but its relative success hasn’t shielded the platform from the financial woes plaguing the tech industry. Like other companies making sweeping cuts to their workforces this week, Discord is laying off 17% of its staff, or about 170 people. In an internal memo obtained by the Verge, Discord CEO Jason Citron blamed over-hiring — echoing explanations that other tech CEOs have offered for recent layoffs. “We grew quickly and expanded our workforce even faster, increasing by 5x since 2020,” Citron said in the memo. Last August, Discord laid off 4% of its staff — nearly 40 employees — as part of a company-wide restructuring.

Discord has emerged as a staple for numerous online communities in recent times, yet its relative triumph has not sheltered it from the financial predicaments haunting the tech industry. Similar to other companies implementing sweeping layoffs this week, Discord is now reducing its workforce by 17%, which accounts for approximately 170 individuals.

In an internal memo obtained by the esteemed Verge, Discord’s CEO Jason Citron attributed this situation to over-hiring – a sentiment echoed by other tech CEOs explaining recent layoffs. These cuts were announced during a company-wide assembly on Thursday.

“We expanded swiftly and expanded our workforce even more rapidly, causing our team to increase by 5x since 2020,” Citron shared in the memo. “Consequently, we took on more projects and became less efficient in our operations. Today, we have a clearer understanding of the pressing need to focus and enhance our collaborative efforts to bring greater agility to our organization. This is the primary factor behind our decision to reduce our workforce.”

While Discord experienced significant growth during lockdowns amidst the pandemic, the platform still struggles to generate profits. According to the Verge, Discord laid off 4% of its employees – nearly 40 individuals – in August last year as part of a company-wide reorganization. This primarily affected employees in marketing, design, and entertainment partnerships.

This week has been particularly brutal in terms of layoffs in the tech industry; video game engine Unity slashed 1,800 jobs, Twitch – owned by Amazon – eliminated around 500 positions, and Amazon itself let go of “several hundreds” of Prime Video and MGM Studios employees. Even Audible, the audiobook company also owned by Amazon, had to lay off 5% of its workforce.

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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