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Roku will lay off 200 employees after warning of weak Q4 results

Brendan McDermid / Reuters

In the latest example of what seems like daily Big Tech job cuts, Roku announced plans today to lay off around 200 employees, nearly seven percent of its workforce. The streaming company wrote in an SEC filing that it plans to cut the jobs in the US due to “economic conditions.” The company estimates it will pay between $28 and $31 million for the reductions, primarily because of severance payments, notice pay (where applicable), employee benefits contributions and related costs.

Roku says most of the layoffs will happen in Q4, with the remaining cuts expected to be “substantially complete” by the end of Q1 2023. In a statement released today, Roku said, “Taking these actions now will allow us to focus our investments on key strategic priorities to drive future growth and enhance our leadership position.”

These layoffs follow a warning from Roku in its latest quarterly results that it anticipates a year-over-year revenue decline for Q4. The company’s shares dropped almost three percent today in trading before the bell.

Big Tech job cuts have become an unfortunate trend in recent months. Roku’s layoffs follow downsizing from Meta, which laid off 11,000 employees last week; Twitter, which cut approximately 3,800 jobs earlier this month; plus Amazon and Microsoft. Although Apple has so far remained an exception, it imposed a hiring freeze expected to continue into late 2023. Likewise, Disney is reportedly freezing hiring and anticipating cuts, while Netflix laid off around 300 people back in June. Streaming-focused companies — Roku included — have faced the dual challenges of an uncertain economy and a revenue decline following a boom during the coronavirus pandemic.