LinkedIn announced today that it is laying off 668 employees, roughly 3% of its workforce. “Talent changes are a difficult, but necessary and regular part of managing our business,” the professional networking platform said in a statement, adding that the cuts will result in “a reduction of approximately 668 roles across our engineering, product, talent and finance teams.”
This is the second major layoff by the organization this year, having already cut 716 employees back in May. In its statement, the company explained that “[w]hile we are adapting our organizational structures and streamlining our decision making, we are continuing to invest in strategic priorities for our future and to ensure we continue to deliver value for our members and customers. We are committed to providing our full support to all impacted employees during this transition and ensuring that they are treated with care and respect.”
Notably, the restructuring adaptations that LinkedIn is referring to may revolve around an increased focus on AI capabilities. Such functionality is core to several new tools the company released recently, a main one being Recruiter 2024, which LinkedIn bills as an “AI-assisted recruiting experience that will make hiring more efficient.” The company has developed an AI-infused coaching chatbot, as well.
What’s more, the layoffs are not due to revenue loss — at least not exactly. LinkedIn’s fourth quarter revenue for its fiscal 2023 year increased by 5% over the previous year. However, the prior quarter had an increase of 10%. In other words, growth has slowed.
Additionally, while this may be LinkedIn’s second round of big layoffs this year, it is part of a continued larger trend of cuts in the sector, which has seen shed more than 140,000 employees in the first half of this year, according to employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It’s an especially striking number given that the field experienced 6,000 layoffs during the same time period in the year prior.
You may read the full staff memo from LinkedIn executives Mohak Shroff and Tomer Cohento:
We did not expect to share this important update with you all in the midst of such challenging times, but in the spirit of creating clarity, Tomer and I wanted to share some news regarding changes we are making to our orgs.
As we continue to execute on our FY24 plan, we need to also evolve how we work and what we prioritize so we can deliver on the key initiatives we’ve identified that will have an outsized impact in achieving our business goals. This means adapting our organizational structures to improve agility and accountability, establishing unambiguous ownership, and driving improved efficiency & transparency through reduced layering.
These decisions result in the reduction of 563 roles across R&D. Broken down there are 137 Engineering management roles and 38 Product roles being reduced. Additionally, there will be 388 role reductions across our Engineering team in an effort to better align resources to our FY24 plan, and we will open a small number of new roles to fill critical gaps in our ambitious roadmap.
For those who are directly affected by these changes, you will receive a calendar invitation within the next hour, titled “Required Attendance: R&D Role Reductions”. This meeting will provide you with detailed information on how we will support you through this transition.
If you do not receive this invitation, expect communication from your Product or Engineering Executive leader soon with specifics pertaining to your organization and how we will collectively navigate through these changes.
Tomer and I made these decisions with deep consideration towards the long-term needs of our business and with the acknowledgement that every affected individual has played a valuable role in the growth and success of Linkedin.
In the coming days, our focus will be on supporting each other and discussing the ways we will move forward, with our vision, mission, and values as our guides. Today, it is imperative that we support our colleagues navigating this transition. Let’s continue to embrace empathy and understanding through these difficult times and use these as a cornerstone for the support we provide each other.
Mohak & Tomer