Clubhouse ‘says goodbye’ to half of its staff in mass layoffs

·2-min read
Clubhouse ‘says goodbye’ to half of its staff in mass layoffs

Social audio app Clubhouse has laid off more than half of its staff in the latest wave of new layoffs in the tech industry.

The audio-only app came to prominence in early 2021, seeing a surge in users amid the Covid pandemic as people across the world got accustomed to remote online work.

Clubhouse’s success was followed by several social media apps like Reddit, Facebook and Twitter trying their own integration of audio interaction features.

Now, just two years following the company’s initial boom, co-founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth said in a blog post on Thursday that the mass layoffs are in response to changing customer habits in a post-Covid world.

“Today we announced that we’re scaling back our org by over 50 per cent and saying goodbye to many talented, dedicated teammates in the process,” the blog post noted.

“But as the world has opened up post-Covid, it’s become harder for many people to find their friends on Clubhouse and to fit long conversations into their daily lives. To find its role in the world, the product needs to evolve,” they said.

It is unclear exactly how many employees were there at the company before the layoff, but Mr Davidson had previously told TechCrunch that the startup had close to 100 employees.

The company noted that its employee strength before the job cuts made it hard for teams to coordinate, leaving “brilliant, creative people” underutilised.

“In order to fix this we need to reset the company, eliminate roles and take it down to a smaller, product-focused team,” the Clubhouse co-founders said.

The startup now bets on a smaller team to give it “focus and speed”, and help it evolve.

Contrary to other tech companies that have conducted mass layoffs in recent times, Clubhouse did not refer to a stagnant economy as a reason for its job cuts, but cited the challenges of remote work environments and overhiring as factors leading to its decision.

“We have a clear vision for what Clubhouse 2.0 looks like and we believe that with a smaller, leaner team we will be able to iterate faster on the details, build the right product and honor our teammates who helped us get here,” the co-founders said.