Discord Cuts 17% of Workers in Latest Tech Layoffs

Discord, the social chat and messaging start-up beloved by gamers, told employees on Thursday that it would cut 17 percent of its staff, adding to the string of recent jobs reductions by tech firms.

Roughly 170 jobs will be affected by the layoffs, according to an internal memo sent by Jason Citron, Discord’s founder and chief executive, which was seen by The New York Times.

“We have to face some hard truths,” Mr. Citron wrote. “We are increasingly clear on the need to sharpen our focus and improve the way we work together to bring more agility to our organization.”

Discord confirmed the cuts. The layoffs were reported earlier by The Verge.

Cuts in the tech industry already this year have included reductions from giants like Google, Amazon and Meta. Gaming companies, in particular, have trimmed their ranks; Twitch, an Amazon-owned streaming service that many gamers use, and Unity Software, a videogame software provider, cut their work forces in the past week.

On Wednesday, Google also laid off hundreds of workers in its core engineering division, as well as those working on the Google Assistant, a voice-operated virtual assistant, and in the hardware division. Amazon also shed hundreds of workers on Wednesday, not only at its Twitch streaming service but also at its Prime Video service and MGM Studios. Xerox said this month that it would cut 15 percent of its 23,000-person staff.

The cuts signal what could be another tough year for the tech industry, after tens of thousands of employees were laid off last year amid challenging economic conditions and a downturn in the digital advertising market.

In his note, Mr. Citron said the layoffs were a result of overhiring and growing too quickly, with Discord having expanded five times its original size since 2020. As a result, he said, Discord had taken on too many projects and worked less efficiently on them.

His reasoning echoed similar statements in the past from tech chief executives, such as Mark Zuckerberg of Meta and Daniel Ek of Spotify, both of whom carried out layoffs over the past two years.

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