Roku isn’t done cutting jobs in a bid to turn its fortunes around. The streaming company has warned that it will lay off another 200 workers, or about six percent of its current headcount. It also plans to either close or sublease offices that aren’t in active use. The layoffs will help the firm limit its expenses and focus on projects that will have a “higher return on investment,” Roku says.
The device and platform creator expects to pay between $30 million and $35 million to handle the layoffs and building closures. Most of those costs should be paid in the first quarter, or by the end of this month. The layoffs should be finished by the end of Roku’s second quarter, or June.
In November, Roku said it would eliminate 200 jobs in response to rough “economic conditions.” It expected a year-over-year drop in revenue, and had already been struggling with slowing revenue growth in the second half of 2022. Like fellow internet video rivals Disney and Netflix, Roku is grappling with the combination of a looming recession and the end of a pandemic-era boom that kept many people at home watching TV. The company wasn’t helped by the failure of Silicon Valley Bank earlier this month — it said it could have lost over 25 percent of its cash if regulators hadn’t stepped in to protect deposits.
Roku is far from the only large tech company laying off staff this year. Alphabet, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft have all slashed their workforces, among numerous others. However, Roku’s reductions come at a pivotal moment. It just released its first self-made TVs, and it’s facing stiff competition in hardware and services from the likes of Amazon, Apple and Google. Roku is under pressure to invest heavily in its technology to keep up with its frequently wealthy challengers.