Atlassian will be shedding 500 staff, just five months after the Australian tech company embarked on a recruitment drive to employ 1,000 more people.
Atlassian co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar announced the job cuts on Tuesday, labelling it a “rebalancing of resources” rather than being financially-driven.
“These actions are part of the company’s initiatives to better position it to execute against its largest growth opportunities,” an Atlassian market update said.
“This includes continuing to invest in strategic areas of the business, aligning talent to best meet customer needs and business priorities, and optimising for operational efficiency.”
The company has joined a number of the biggest tech companies in the world in downsizing in recent months, with rapid growth following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic slowing, and economic headwinds continuing to loom.
The 500 full-time staff that will be losing their jobs equate to five per cent of Atlassian’s total global workforce.
In an update to the Atlassian team, Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar said it was a “very hard day”.
“This one comes with the heaviest of hearts knowing we are saying goodbye to great team-mates and friends,” the co-founders said.
“We came to this decision as an executive team and with our board, but ultimately the final call is on us as co-founders. To those who are leaving us: we are deeply sorry.”
The co-founders said a restructuring earlier this year needed to go further.
“While it helped us streamline work, we need to go further in rebalancing the skills we require to run faster at our company priorities,” they said.
“To be clear, this decision is not a reflection of Atlassian’s own financial performance, as we will be reinvesting in roles that better support our priorities…this is different to a financially-driven reduction.”
The roles to be cut will be in talent acquisition, program management and research, with Atlassian set to incur about $104 million in restructuring costs.
It’s a sharp turnaround for the tech firm which has been regularly spruiking its emphasis on talent, and has announced lofty goals to continue expanding its workforce.
Just in October last year, the company launched a literal recruitment drive, with a van dubbed the ‘AtlassiVan’ to drive around major Australian cities to advertise jobs with the company.
At the time, the company said it planned to bring in 1,000 new employees by the end of this year.
That recruitment drive was focusing on data and analytics, data scientists, engineering, marketing, customer experience and product management.
And earlier last year, Atlassian unveiled a plan to hire 5,000 Australian IT workers in the coming years, with a goal of increasing its headcount from nearly 9,000 people to 25,000 people around the world by 2026.
There are still about 700 roles which Atlassian is currently recruiting for.
Atlassian has now joined a long list of major tech companies to announce significant job cuts in recent months.
Earlier this year, Google revealed plans to cut 12,000 employees, or about 6 percent of its global workforce. This was mostly reducing many of the staff who were hired during rapid expansions earlier in the pandemic.
Around the same time, Microsoft announced its own plan to shed 10,000 jobs, with its pandemic growth now slowing.
Late last year Meta, Amazon and Twitter announced job cuts of 25,000 people in total.