Discord to cut 17% of its workforce

Following four years of success, Discord makes its second round of cuts in five months in order to redress earlier over expansion

Discord to cut 17% of its workforce

Continuing the 2023-through-2024 job-cutting trend, high-profile, tech-focused social media service Discord is to shed 17% of its staff in efforts to cut costs and remain viable as growth slows.

The news came via an internal memo picked up by The Verge in which CEO Jason Citron blames the company's ambitions and projections over the past few years. "We grew quickly and expanded our workforce even faster, increasing by 5x since 2020. As a result, we took on more projects and became less efficient in how we operated," he wrote.

Today's cuts are Discord’s largest to date after the messaging app - a particularly popular channel for Web3 and crypto enterprises to engage with their audiences and test popularity for future projects - laid off 4 percent of staff last August.

"Where we are and how we got here"

This effectively ending a successful run for the company that has seen it's valuation double to $7 billion in 2020 and triple its revenue in 2021 before courting Microsoft as a potential purchaser (at a rumoured price of $12 billion) before preparing for its own - since abandoned - IPO.

Citron's full statement to the company and affected staff is below.

Hi @everyone,

I want to follow up on what we just covered at our all-company meeting and share some context.

Today we are making the unfortunate and difficult decision to reduce the size of Discord’s workforce by 17%. This means we are saying goodbye to 170 of our talented colleagues. This is a decision we did not take lightly, but it is one that we have conviction in to better serve our users, our business and our mission over the long term.

Where we are and how we got here

Our company has changed and grown significantly over the past few years. We should all be really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together to serve the millions of people who turn to Discord every day to spend time with their friends.

At the same time, we have to face some hard truths. We grew quickly and expanded our workforce even faster, increasing by 5x since 2020. As a result, we took on more projects and became less efficient in how we operated.

Today, 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. This is what largely drove the decision to reduce the size of our workforce. While difficult, I am confident this will put us in the best position to continue building a strong and profitable business that delivers amazing products for our users and supports our mission for years to come.

What happens next

I’m sure all of you are anxious to know what this means for each of you.

- By 10:30 a.m. PT, everyone will receive an email. In your email, you will learn whether or not your employment has been impacted by this reduction-in-force

- Leadership will hold a meeting with departing team members at 11:00 a.m. PT to discuss next steps

- For all remaining employees, we will come back together this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. PT to talk about what’s next

How we’re taking care of our colleagues

It is incredibly important to me that we support departing team members through this difficult time and provide them with a sizable runway as they transition into future employment. To that end, we are offering them:

- Five months of salary (plus an additional week for every full year at Discord)

- Five months of benefit continuation

- Three months of outplacement services

- Equity vesting of awards scheduled to vest on Feb. 1, 2024

- Continued access to Modern Health through the end of 2024, and more

I’ll end by sharing deep appreciation and gratitude for those leaving us. Discord is better because of your contributions and the passion you brought to delivering for our users, our company, and each other. Thank you for everything.

It’s incredibly difficult to say goodbye to respected peers, many of whom have become friends. I’m hopeful that working on and with our product has reinforced that these bonds can be sustained and even strengthened beyond the “walls” of any one place.

Take care of yourselves and let’s look out for each other through this particularly challenging time.


Editor -

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment media brands in the world. He's interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of videogames, music, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. Yup, he said garden design… He’s the ex-Editor of PSM2, PSM3, GamesMaster and Future Music, ex-Deputy Editor of The Official PlayStation Magazine and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. He hates talking about himself.