HR unicorn Culture Amp is the latest tech company to shed jobs, cutting 90 roles

- April 19, 2023 2 MIN READ
Didier Elzinga Culture Amp
Culture Amp CEO and cofounder Didier Elzinga
Melbourne software company Culture Amp has followed in the footsteps of Atlassian, Mr Yum and several US tech giants in shedding staff, with around 90 people finishing up next week.

With around 1000 working for the HR platform, the cut amounts to around 9% of the team.

Founder and CEO Didier Elzinga wrote to his “Campers”, as employees are known, today, saying they watched redundancies at other tech companies asked themselves repeatedly if they would face the same fate, given the costs involved.

“We are at a point now that I have made the extremely difficult call that we can no longer maintain that position and we are going to have to become a smaller company,” he said.

“We have watched lots of other companies do layoffs, however we chose to first pull a number of other levers in line with the softening market conditions.”

But ultimately the business is a victim of its customers cutting head counts and Elzinga believes “conditions will likely continue to be tough” for some time.

“Unfortunately as the year has progressed we are not seeing any evidence that the conditions for our customers will improve in the near term,” he wrote.

“In the context of this difficult macroeconomic environment we need to ensure that Culture Amp can deliver on its mission no matter how long the markets take to improve.”

Those losing their jobs finish up on April 26.

“In identifying where we had to remove roles we have focused primarily on how we de-layer, simplify, and restructure the company in order to be able to operate more effectively in this different environment,” Elzinga said in his message.

Staff leaving receive a minimum of 10 weeks of pay and more depending on the length of service. US employees receive four months of healthcare coverage, alongside mental health support and outplacement services.

It’s just under two years since Culture Amp’s valuation reached $2 billion following a $135 million Series F raise. The figure doubled the value of the business from 2019’s $121 million series E.

The business began in 2009 and counts TDM Growth Partners, Sequoia Capital China, Salesforce Ventures, Skip and Grok Capital, the family VC funds of Atlassian co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, among its backers.

It’s nearly three years since Culture Amp shed 8% of its team in the thick of the coronavirus downturn. At the time that was 36 jobs, showing how much the company has grown since.


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