Snap Tells Staff It Cut More Than 120 Engineers to Keep High Bar

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Cyclists pass a closed Snapchat Spectacles pop-up store on the boardwalk in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. The company hasn't given up on its wearables yet, but the first iteration cost it millions in unsold glasses.
Cyclists pass a closed Snapchat Spectacles pop-up store on the boardwalk in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. The company hasn't given up on its wearables yet, but the first iteration cost it millions in unsold glasses. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Snap Inc. confirmed it cut more than 120 engineers, as the company works to emphasize performance in the organization, according to an internal memo.

The round of job cuts are Snap's biggest to date, after a turbulent year that included a rethinking of its advertising business, an exodus of top executives and a widely critiqued redesign of its main application, Snapchat. The Los Angeles-based company's shares had declined 16 percent in the past year through Wednesday's close.

"We want to unleash speed and productivity in our organization, while keeping a high technical bar," Snap's head of engineering, Jerry Hunter, said in the memo to engineers, earlier obtained by Cheddar, an online news network. "That required us to think carefully about the shape of the organization, and where each member of our team fits."

Here's more of the memo:

Over the last few weeks I've worked closely with our key leaders to create a plan for restructuring our team to make it stronger. We kept a few important goals in mind: 1) We will unify the entire engineering organization as a single, powerful and diverse team that is highly productive, extremely innovative, and technically excellent. 2) We will organize around our key priorities, specifically, addressing the technical debt that we have accrued over the years so that we can develop a product that engages customers and drives Snap forward. 3) We will deploy an organizational structure that aligns top talent with the most critical priorities, creates clarity around our mission, drives accountability, and rewards technical excellence in product development.

Having high-performing, technically excellent, and appropriately aligned teams will be critical to building both a compelling product and a compelling culture for engineers. We want to unleash speed and productivity in our organization, while keeping a high technical bar. That required us to think carefully about the shape of the organization, and where each member of our team fits. As part of this, we have made the exceptionally difficult decision to exit just over 120 members of our team from the company. We are doing this after a thoughtful and respectful review of each team member and with appreciation for the many contributions they have made to Snap. All impacted employees will be eligible for a transition package that includes resources to help them with the next step in their career.

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