Patreon lays off 17% of workforce

San Francisco-based tech firm gives impacted employees mental health, financial wellness benefits

Patreon lays off 17% of workforce

Patreon has joined the growing list of American employers reducing headcount ahead of an anticipated recession.

The San Francisco-based tech firm has laid off 17% of its workforce, or 80 members from its people, finance, operations and go-to-market teams, CEO Jack Conte announced on Patreon’s Blog. In addition, the company is reducing the size of its operations, recruiting and other internal support functions. As a result, Patreon is closing its Berlin and Dublin offices, offering its nine Dublin engineering employees relocation packages to join their colleagues in the United States.

Read more: How HR leaders should manage layoffs ahead of recession

Those employees in the U.S. who have been let go will be given three months’ severance, plus an additional two weeks for each half year of tenure beyond the first year. They’ll also receive COBRA health care coverage through the end of the year, Conte said. Because of differing laws by region, European employees will receive various packages based on where they live.

Regardless of location, all laid off employees will be eligible for three months of mental health benefits through Spring Health. Those enrolled in Patreon’s financial counseling services through Origin will have an additional three months of continued coverage, too. Conte said the company contracted with outplacement services to provide employees with curated job matching, resume writing and cover letter writing services “for as long as it takes you to find your next job.”

Patreon is also waiving the one-year equity vesting cliff for all departing employees so that everyone has an opportunity to be a shareholder. Those with stock options will vest through October 15, 2022, and those with RSUs will vest through the next vesting date of November 20, 2022. All laid off employees will qualify for an extended option exercise period of five years, and the company has extended it to seven years in regions where it’s legally able.

The job cuts come on the heels of Patreon laying off five employees from its security team last week. According to Conte, that decision was part of a “longer-term strategy” to continue distributing security responsibilities across the entire engineering team. “Unfortunately, the change generated concern that we were reducing our security investment, but I wanted to make it clear, especially in light of today’s changes, that we are in fact increasing our investment in security,” Conte said.

Major brands throughout the United States, especially in California, have been trimming their workforces ahead of an economic downturn. Last month, Snap Inc, parent company of Snapchat, planned to lay off approximately 20% of its more than 6,400 employees, which comes out to roughly 1,280 people, The Verge reported.

Apple laid off roughly 100 contract-based recruiters one month after announcing plans to slow down hiring. has also laid off 20% of its staff, according to a memo sent by CEO David Ko to employees, The Wall Street Journal reported. A few days earlier, Sweetgreen announced 5% of its support center workforce will be laid off, CNBC reported. Additionally, the company is downsizing to a smaller office building to lower its operating expenses.

Groupon also laid off more than 500 employees, about 15% of its workforce, TechCrunch reported. The merchant development, sales, recruiting, engineering, product and marketing teams were all impacted. Fender laid off roughly 300 employees, ranging from senior management to production line workers, have been laid off, reported. That followed Robinhood announcing plans to lay off 23% of its workforce. In April, the Menlo Park, CA-based company reduced its headcount by 9% after company shares hit a new low, CNN Business reported.

More than 600 startups and tech firms have laid off more than 100,000 people in 2022, according to professional social network Blind’s tech layoffs tracker.

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to cut several hundred jobs this month. Historically, the Wall Street giant has conducted an annual culling cycle, but that’s been on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. In July, the company said it planned to slow hiring and reinstate annual performance reviews, which are typically used to determine which employees aren’t pulling their weight.

At the end of August, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it will close about 150 of its “lower producing” stores and reduce its workforce by roughly 20% across its corporate and supply chain staff, CNBC reported. Ford Motor cut about 3,000 jobs from its global workforce, a majority of which are in North America, CNBC reported. The cuts included 2,000 salaried positions and 1,000 agency jobs in the United States, Canada and India, Ford Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley said in a message to employees that was obtained by CNBC.

Wayfair announced its cutting nearly 900 jobs, about 5% its global workforce, CNN reported. The e-commerce giant said in a regulatory filing that the cuts will help it “manage operating expenses and realign investment priorities.” The layoffs will cost between $30 million to $40 million for employee severance and benefits, the company said.

Peloton has told employees that it’s cutting roughly 780 jobs, including in delivery and in-house support, CNBC reported. Peloton will also be closing a significant number of its 86 retail locations, planning for an “aggressive” reduction beginning in 2023. Additionally, the company will be exiting last-mile logistics by shutting down its remaining warehouses and shifting delivery work to third-party providers like XPO Logistics.

Vox Media laid off 39 employees in the sales, marketing, recruiting and editorial departments, CNBC reported. Additionally, the mass media company with offices in New York City and Washington D.C. will be slowing down hiring and reducing non-essential expenses.

That came after CNBC reported that 7-Eleven has eliminated about 880 corporate jobs in the United States. The Dallas-headquartered company’s Irving, TX and Enon, OH, support centers were impacted, as well as field support roles. The workforce reduction comes roughly one year after the convenience store chain completed its $21 billion acquisition of rival Speedway.

Google told employees that it’ll be “slowing down the pace of hiring for the rest of the year,” according to an internal memo by CEO Sundar Pichai obtained by The Verge. Pichai said the Mountain View, CA-based company isn’t freezing hiring entirely; it’ll still hire for “engineering, technical and other critical roles.” But the pullback will mean “pausing development and re-deploying resources to higher priority areas,” according to the memo.

The memo came on the heels of Meta, formerly known as Facebook, giving engineering managers a deadline to identify anyone on their team who “needs support” and report them in an internal HR system, The Information reported. “If a direct report is coasting or is a low performer, they are not who we need; they are failing this company,” wrote Maher Saba, the company’s head of engineering. “As a manager, you cannot allow someone to be net neutral or negative for Meta.”

In July, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told staffers during a companywide call that not everyone was meeting the Menlo Park, CA-based company’s standards and that some might want to leave voluntarily, Reuters reported. Zuckerberg added the company planned on reducing plans to hire engineers by at least 30% this year.

“If I had to bet, I’d say that this might be one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history,” Zuckerberg said. “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.”

Early in the summer, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest bank in the United States, and Coinbase, the biggest crypto currency exchange in the country, both laid off hundreds of employees. Streaming giant Netflix followed suit, announcing its second round of cuts within two months. Tesla went one step further by closing its San Mateo, CA-based facility, laying off hundreds in the process. With the housing, crypto and tech markets all facing upheaval, more companies are expected to trim their workforce in the months to come.

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