Two weeks ago, Unity Technologies CEO John Riccitiello assured his staff that the video game software development company had no intention of firing anyone. On Thursday, several hundred people heard firsthand that plans had apparently changed.
Unity has laid off 4% of its workforce, between 200 and 300 employees, as part of a reshuffle. In an effort to explain the move, a company spokesperson told: londonbusinessblog.com“As part of an ongoing planning process where we regularly benchmark our resource levels against our business priorities, we decided to realign some of our resources to improve focus and support our long-term growth. “
Unity is just the latest in a string of layoffs that have plagued the tech sector in recent weeks. Substack eliminated 13 positions on Wednesday (that’s 14% of its workforce) — again, not long after the CEO vowed not to cut the workforce.
“I am very sorry,” Substack co-founder and CEO Chris Best wrote in a… email to staff† “Not long ago I told all of you that our plan was to grow the team and not take layoffs. . . . . We didn’t take this decision lightly.”
Substack is struggling to turn a profit in a weak economy after they halted fundraising efforts earlier this year. To complicate matters further, venture capitalists have been: more reluctant to finance technology companies, given rising interest rates and fears of an impending recession.
Also the shedding of staff was Niantic, the company behind pokemon gowhich on Wednesday laid off nearly 90 people (about 8% of the workforce), and reportedly halted production four projects†
The technical sector is especially hard hitting because the economy has shifted in recent months. More than 16,000 technical employees lost their jobs in may† And in June there were nearly 15,000 cuts, with 166 companies slashing their payrolls, according to data from the tracking tool fired.fyi†
Other recent layoffs include:
- HomeLight† The real estate company fired 19% of its workforce Wednesday, pointing to the rapidly changing housing market and the need to grow in a “sustainable way”.
- ice cream sundae† The San Francisco-based company that matches home sellers with investors Tuesday 15% of staff laid off“to ensure [the company] exists for decades to come. That’s because Sundae is reportedly close to an $80 million fundraising round, which could prompt the company to start hiring again.
- Qumulo† About 80 employees of this Seattle data storage provider startup was shut down Thursday due to economic conditions and profitability concerns. Qumulo is one of the few “unicorns” in Seattle, valued at over $1 billion.
The bad news doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon for tech companies. Cryptocurrencies continue to fall to levels not seen since 2020, and Wall Street will close out the first half of the year with the S&P 500 making its worst half-year performance since 1970. Inflation isn’t abating either, which means more shakeups could be on the way.