Company cuts over 500 Twitch employees

Company cuts over 500 Twitch employees

Amazon is laying off about 500 employees in its Twitch livestreaming unit, an executive overseeing the unit wrote in a memo to staffers on Wednesday.

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy said the cuts were being made in an effort to “rightsize our company” and align its headcount with the current size of the business.

Amazon acquired Twitch for almost $1 billion in 2014. The site is most known as a popular livestreaming platform for video gamers. After buying Twitch, Amazon was largely hands off with the business, though it has offered Prime subscribers perks on the livestreaming platform, such as free games and in-game loot.

“I know many of you are wondering why this is happening. Over the last year, we’ve been working to build a more sustainable business so that Twitch will be here for the long run and throughout the year we have cut costs and made many decisions to be more efficient,” Clancy wrote. “Unfortunately, despite these efforts, it has become clear that our organization is still meaningfully larger than it needs to be given the size of our business.  Last year we paid out over $1 billion to streamers. So while the Twitch business remains strong, for some time now the organization has been sized based upon where we optimistically expect our business to be in 3 or more years, not where we’re at today.”

The layoffs represent the third round of cuts at Twitch in less than a year. Last March, Twitch laid off roughly 400 staffers, and it cut some employees in its customer experience division last October.

The unit has also seen turnover in its highest ranks. Longtime CEO Emmett Shear stepped down last March, turning the helm over to Dan Clancy, most recently Twitch’s President. The company’s chief customer officer Doug Scott announced his departure late last year, while chief content officer Laura Lee also announced her exit from the company last month.

Amazon has undergone the largest layoffs in its history, cutting 27,000 employees since 2022. The cuts have been ongoing, with Amazon announcing layoffs in its Prime Video and MGM Studios units on Wednesday.

Team,

Today I have some incredibly difficult news to share. As you all know, we have worked hard over the last year to run our business as sustainably as possible. Unfortunately, we still have work to do to rightsize our company and I regret having to share that we are taking the painful step to reduce our headcount by just over 500 people across Twitch. This will be a very hard day. Our service exists to empower communities to create, together, and every single one of you has played a vital role in fostering our community and furthering that mission. 

I know many of you are wondering why this is happening. Over the last year, we’ve been working to build a more sustainable business so that Twitch will be here for the long run and throughout the year we have cut costs and made many decisions to be more efficient. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, it has become clear that our organization is still meaningfully larger than it needs to be given the size of our business.  Last year we paid out over $1 billion to streamers. So while the Twitch business remains strong, for some time now the organization has been sized based upon where we optimistically expect our business to be in 3 or more years, not where we’re at today. As with many other companies in the tech space, we are now sizing our organization based upon the current scale of our business and conservative predictions of how we expect to grow in the future.

This decision, while incredibly difficult and painful, is necessary to ensure that we can continue to serve our streamers sustainably without impacting their ability to support their careers on Twitch. Part of what makes this so difficult is the passion that so many of you share for the Twitch community, and the hard work you’ve put into serving our streamers. 

I know you all are wondering what this decision means for you and your role moving forward. While we know it is better to hear about the impact face to face, we realize that it is more important to share the news with the affected individuals as quickly as possible. With that in mind, here’s what you can expect within the next hour. 

If your role is affected by this decision and you live in the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, or Singapore.

In the next few minutes, I will send an email to this group of people sharing the unfortunate news that your position is being eliminated and important details on everything we’re doing to support you through this transition. Afterward, your org leader will reach out directly via email with more specific information about your severance package and to give you the option to speak with them individually. These 1:1 meetings will take place over the next few days. 

If your role is affected by this decision and you’re in any country not listed above. 

In the next few minutes, you will receive an email from Lauren Nunes with more specific information on the process and next steps, which vary by country. 

For everyone who is leaving Twitch today, I know how important it is to say goodbye to your colleagues, so you will retain access to Slack and your email until 1 PM PT (if you are in Singapore, you will have access until 12 PM local time).

If your role was not affected. 

I will send another email to this group confirming your role was not affected by this decision. Afterwards, I plan to host regional All Hands throughout the day so you all can hear from me directly. Details on the time of these sessions and calendar invites will come through later this morning. 

I also want to acknowledge how disappointed I was yesterday that this information leaked. I am sorry for all of the anxiety that it caused over the last several hours. Our hope was that you all would hear from us this morning and very quickly understand how this impacted your role and we were unfortunately not able to accelerate the timeline, which I know is very frustrating. 

I want to close with my sincerest apology to everyone who is leaving Twitch. You are some of the most talented, committed, and creative people I have ever worked with. Thank you for everything you’ve done to help us build Twitch and foster our community. 

We are all here because we believe in the power of Twitch and our community – and while our mission is far from over, right now our focus is on taking care of each other. I am always grateful for how well you all support and show up for one another during our best and most difficult moments. 

– Dan 

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