Twitch CEO chides staff for leaking news of latest layoffs

While expressing his regret that 500 workers would be laid off, the chief executive of the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch chided his staff in a memo for leaking the news to the media hours before the official announcement Wednesday.

“I also want to acknowledge how disappointed I was yesterday that this information leaked,” CEO Dan Clancy wrote in the memo published in a blog post. “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.”

Bloomberg News initially reported the layoffs at Twitch on Tuesday night, stating that the cuts would affect about 35% of the staff. The reductions come at a time when many tech platforms are downsizing their workforce after a surge in hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year we paid out over $1 billion to streamers,” Clancy explained in his note to staffers about the San Francisco company’s decision. “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 three 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.”

Clancy said he had hoped that employees at Twitch — best known as the home for popular video game livestreamers — would learn about the layoffs directly from the company Wednesday morning. He noted that follow-up emails would be immediately sent to the affected employees.

The layoffs follow an earlier round of cuts at the company last March, when it was announced that 400 workers would lose their jobs.

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