Snap, Inc. is preparing to lay off about 120 of its engineers over the next few days, the company confirmed on Thursday.
Those 120 employees reportedly make up about 10 percent of the firm’s total engineering team. According to CNBC, it’s the firm’s largest round of layoffs to date and the first to affect Snap’s engineers. Smaller layoffs in recent months have hit the company’s recruiting, hardware, content, and marketing divisions.
The layoffs were first reported by Cheddar on Wednesday, but Snap Engineering SVP Jerry Hunter confirmed the news in an email to employees today. Hunter said that the layoffs are meant to “unify” Snap’s engineering division, organized around “key priorities,” which include addressing the “technical debt that (Snap) has accrued over the years.”
“I know this is a challenging moment, but I am convinced that this is an important step to help us build the future of Snap,” Hunter wrote, adding that the plans include developing a product that “engages customers” and drives the firm forward.
It’s not entirely clear which specific engineering teams the layoffs will affect. But Snap seems to have mothballed several hardware-related projects, including its development of a drone product.
The Los Angeles-based firm has struggled with stagnant growth in recent years, and it’s still coming out of a rough first year after going public. Part of that is the explosive success of Instagram’s own Stories feature, which it launched in August 2016. In comparison to the Facebook-owned platform, Snapchat’s growth has been relatively slow.
Snap is still reeling from the largely failed launch of its Spectacles wearable, and the company has also received flack for a recent redesign of its flagship Snapchat app.
After social media celebrity Kylie Jenner tweeted that she no longer used Snapchat last month, the firm lost nearly $1.3 billion in market value.
The company, which employs about 3,000 people total, withheld cash bonuses at the end of 2017 due to its failure to meet “companywide goals,” Cheddar reported. In addition, since going public early last year, the firm has lost several of its top managers, including its former SVP of Engineering, its VP of Sales, and its VP of Product.