Substack is the latest tech company to announce layoffs, with the company’s CEO Chris Best tweeting on Wednesday that he’s letting 13 workers go. According to Axios, that’s around 14 percent of Substack’s workforce. In his letter and follow-up tweets, Best cites “market conditions” as the reason behind the layoffs.
He also admits that the move may be a surprise to some employees. “Not so long ago, I told you all that our plan was to grow the team and not do layoffs,” he says, also noting that the company is “still hiring for specific key roles” and has money saved. However, Best says that the company needs to change tactics, as it could be facing “an extended period” where the economy goes from bad to worse. He says that the layoffs are one of several changes the company has made to make sure it’s in “a strong financial position.”
The people we’re saying goodbye to today are all talented, great people who care deeply about helping readers and writers. It hurts to let them go. We’ll miss them.
— Chris Best (@cjgbest) June 29, 2022
According to The New York Times, some of the employees laid off were involved in human resources and writer support. The report also says that Substack recently halted efforts to secure funding from investors, but that its revenue is still growing.
In April, Substack faced a minor controversy around its hiring efforts when its vice president of communications tweeted a hiring link while noting a specific type of employee she said the company didn’t want. “If you’re a Twitter employee who’s considering resigning because you’re worried about Elon Musk pushing for less regulated speech… please do not come work here,” she said. The company has historically said that it places a lot of importance on free speech.
Substack is far from the only company laying off a significant percentage of its workers in the past month or two. Companies like Tesla, Netflix, Klarna, Better.com, and Cameo have all cut jobs, as have several large crypto firms.