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Lockwood announces mass layoffs

This follows the layoffs of staff members last year which have been called unlawful

Lockwood announces mass layoffs

Last week, Lockwood Publishing announced the layoffs of 15 per cent of its workforce.

In a Slack message on Thursday, CEO Halli Bjornsson wrote “We will be putting 34 roles at risk of redundancy, and we propose to make 29 roles redundant.” A further Slack message obtained by stated that affected staff would be contacted by end of day Friday at the latest, although thus far no further news – including the precise number of staff made redundant – have emerged.

Last year, the company laid off 10 per cent of its workforce, in a move which the Independent Worker’s Union of Great Britain (IWGB) accused of breaching employment laws due to a lack of consultation with staff and transparency, attracting the attention of Labour MP for Nottingham, Nadia Whittome.

Lockwood denied these allegations, with a spokesperson for the company stating "While we accept that we can always do better in the way we communicate change, we reject any suggestion that we breached employment law during the last restructure in 2021."

Staff were allegedly assured that no further redundancies would take place, however, Lockwood have claimed that the recent war in Ukraine has been a factor in the decision to lay off additional staff.

The latest round of layoffs has led to harsh criticism of Bjornsson. One employee claims that he takes home a six figure salary, which is in line with the $360 thousand reported in 2021 – a figure that Lockwood has disputed.

"If he really wanted to save money, he'd do the honourable thing and take a voluntary pay cut like a decent CEO does," the employee told TheGamer.

One ex-employee states that Bjornsson’s high salary was an issue during their time with the company, stating "We specifically called that out in a few of our meetings with leadership, but got quite a hostile response."

Bjornsson has faced accusations of nepotism and poor leadership since the first round of layoffs, with anonymous sources claiming that Bjornsson has a history of hiring "yes men with no experience", and that several employees who fought management have lost their jobs.

In March, Lockwood opened a new office in Cambridge and expanded its development hub.

Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.