Twitter will lay off up to 336 people

Twitter has struggled to attract new users and impress Wall Street.
Twitter has struggled to attract new users and impress Wall Street. The Associated Press

Twitter plans to lay off up to 336 people, slashing about 8 percent of its workforce worldwide, the tech firm announced Tuesday.

The layoffs come as the social media company, which has struggled to attract new users and impress Wall Street, is trying to change how it works and what it needs to do to accomplish its goals, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in an email to employees.

“Product and Engineering are going to make the most significant structural changes to reflect our plan ahead,” wrote Dorsey, who was named CEO last week. “We feel strongly that Engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team, while remaining the biggest percentage of our workforce. And the rest of the organization will be streamlined in parallel.”

Twitter has struggled to increase its base of active users, with many potential customers finding the service too difficult to use. As of the second quarter, the company had 316 million users, up 15 percent from the previous year.

Advertisers, the principal source of Twitter’s revenue, have also complained that Twitter’s offerings are less compelling than those of Facebook and Google.

Twitter said it would provide “generous” exit packages to those who lose their jobs. It intends to take a pretax charge of $5 million to $15 million in the fourth quarter in connection with the layoffs.

Twitter expects its third-quarter earnings, which are scheduled to be reported Oct. 27, to be at or above its forecast, which at the high end is an estimated $560 million in revenue and adjusted earnings of $115 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This is the first time that Twitter, which recently rolled back its headquarter expansion in San Francisco, has announced layoffs since it went public in 2013.

As of June 30, Twitter had about 4,100 employees and more than 35 offices worldwide, according to the company’s website. In December 2014, Twitter had 3,638 full-time employees.

“This isn’t easy. But it is right,” Dorsey wrote. “The world needs a strong Twitter, and this is another step to get there.”