Unity Software to lay off 1,800 employees

Unity Software to lay off 1,800 employees

James Whitehurst, the former CEO of Red Hat.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Unity Software said Monday that it’s cutting 1,800 jobs, or about 25% of its workforce, in the latest round of layoffs at the gaming technology company. The stock jumped almost 5% in extended trading.

Unity said in a regulatory filing that the cuts are part of a corporate restructuring plan. The company told investors in November that it would implement a “comprehensive assessment” of its product portfolio and conduct a financial evaluation that would “likely include discontinuing certain product offerings, reducing our workforce, and reducing our office footprint.”

In the filing, Unity said it’s unable to “reasonably estimate the costs and charges in connection with this reduction, which it expects will be substantially incurred in the first quarter of 2024.”

It has been a rough past year for Unity. In May, the company announced a round of layoffs that affected 600 employees, or about 8% of its workforce, a move Unity said was intended to help generate “long-term and profitable growth.”

In September, Unity announced a pricing change that upset numerous developers who rely on the company’s technology to create video games. A consortium of game developers protested the change, saying in a public letter that it “jeopardizes small and large game developers alike” and was “made without any industry consultation.”

The following month, John Riccitiello retired as Unity’s CEO, also stepping down as chairman and leaving the board. James Whitehurst, the former CEO of Red Hat, was named interim CEO while Roelof Botha, the lead independent director of Unity’s Board and a Sequoia Capital partner, became chairman.

While the shares rose more than 40% for the year, they lost almost half their value between July and the end of October. In its third-quarter earnings report, Unity missed analysts’ expectations and didn’t issue quarterly guidance.

“Our results in the third quarter were mixed,” Unity said at the time in a letter to shareholders. “While revenue came in within guidance, we believe we can do better.”

WATCH: Unity Software’s John Riccitiello retiring as president and CEO

Unity Software's John Riccitiello retiring as president and CEO

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