Cloud storage giant Dropbox has joined technology companies that are implementing a workforce reduction policy, announcing the layoff of 16% of staff, which is equivalent to about 500 people.
The CEO of the company, Drew Houston, said that this decision was made due to the slowdown in the growth of the company. He also noted that in this case, an additional factor of influence was the fact that the era of computing with artificial intelligence has come. Before the layoffs, the company employed 3,125 employees.
These layoffs are the first for the firm since January 2021, when, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company’s management decided to cut 315 jobs.
The current wave of layoffs was announced to employees in a memo from CEO and co-founder Drew Houston, as well as in an SEC statement.
The SEC reports that due to the reduction of the workforce, the company will incur expenses of $ 37 to $ 42 million, which will be fixed in the second quarter. The results of the firm’s activities for the first quarter will be announced on May 4. The SEC notes that these figures will meet or even exceed initial expectations.
Dropbox is currently a profitable company, the position of which does not cause special concern. But Drew Houston, apparently realizing the danger of carelessness of success, which in the conditions of competition and active development of technology is a temporary phenomenon, makes proactive decisions on layoffs and investing in new industries so as not to lose ground in the process of transformation of the external environment.
Drew Houston says that the slowdown in growth is partly natural from the point of view of the specifics of business development, but the economic downturn, which puts pressure on the firm’s customers, aggravates the situation. Separately, he noted that some investments that previously provided the desired result no longer demonstrate sustainability.
The head of the company also stated that the configuration of the current technological, social, and economic realities is partly due to the beginning of the era of computing with artificial intelligence. Drew Houston said that for many years his firm believed in the superpowers of AI and its potential to completely change the work related to mental activity.
Layoffs, one of the motives for which is the development of artificial intelligence, will be one of the first alarm bells for those who perceive AI as the cause of potential mass unemployment. Some experts will perceive this explanation as a simple and timely justification for reducing costs, which will support the optimism of the market and investors in the context of upgrading Dropbox following the trends of the time, which is a kind of guarantee that the company is following innovations and will not remain on the periphery of the technological system.
As we have reported earlier, First Republic Cuts Up to 25% of Workforce.