Tech company Messagebird fires a third of its staff, top man expresses regret

Tech company Messagebird fires a third of its staff, top man expresses regret
Tech company Messagebird fires a third of its staff, top man expresses regret

The Amsterdam technology company Messagebird is laying off almost a third of its staff. CEO Robert Vis announced this to his employees on Tuesday. This concerns a total of more than 240 jobs.

According to Vis, Messagebird, which provides software for companies to get in touch with customers, has grown too quickly in recent years. “I made mistakes that led to this decision and should have seen this coming,” the CEO wrote in an explanation of the layoffs. “I take full responsibility for this decision.”

The company says it is suffering from the impending recession and rising interest rates. Despite the fact that the company has been profitable since last year, Messagebird now has to take “drastic measures to stay healthy”, according to Vis. Vis wants to return to “the strict working method” from the early years of the company, which was founded in 2011.

Messagebird saw the number of employees double last year, partly due to a number of acquisitions. Among other things, the company took over the American e-mail company Sparkpost, for which Messagebird paid almost half a billion euros. According to Vis, Messagebird’s turnover will grow from 434 million euros in 2021 to 600 million euros this year.

Also read this interview with CEO Robert Vis: ‘I am a millennial myself, but I am against millennial culture’

Not insensitive

Messagebird had already decided to lay off several dozen employees earlier this month. Vis’s LinkedIn post about this, in which he explained his personal vision of the company, received dozens of negative reactions because of “insensitivity” towards the laid-off employees. Vis removed the comments – which he called “propaganda” – and stated that his post was “in no way intended to be insensitive”.

Messagebird is one of the first major Dutch tech companies to let staff leave. Earlier, the Eindhoven software company Sendcloud announced that it would lay off 10 percent of its four hundred employees. Meal delivery company Just Eat Takeaway has decided not to hire new staff at its head office in Amsterdam, which de facto also means that the number of employees is declining, because there are often staff who leave voluntarily.

In the United States, meanwhile, most large tech companies have seen staff leave. Meta, Snapchat, Stripe and Twitter, among others, announced rounds of layoffs. Many tech companies have overestimated the positive effects of the corona pandemic on their turnover and are seeing costs rise due to inflation and rising interest rates. Since most tech companies have almost all their costs in staff, layoffs are often the most obvious way to save money.

The article is in Dutch

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