With inflation rising and the unemployment rate falling, economic forecasters are predicting an impending recession in 2023. A few major WordPress companies are tightening their belts ahead of what many believe will be an unavoidable economic downturn.
Elementor announced that it is laying off 60 employees, 15% of its workforce, in a tightly controlled release of information to Globes, an Israeli business newspaper. Co-founder and CEO Yoni Luksenberg gave the following statement:
“Today, we make the difficult decision to say goodbye to some of our colleagues. We are in a changing global situation with rising inflation and a pending recession. To ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of our business, we are restructuring and optimizing our workforce, becoming more efficient in certain areas and continuing to grow our product offerings, to secure the company’s long-term success, growth and business goals as we plan for 2023 and beyond.”
The Globes article states that “most of the layoff will be in the company’s marketing department and will apparently not effect engineers and development staff.” Elementor has raised a total of $65M across three funding rounds since 2017, but the Globes’ statement fueled speculation about why their marketing department had such a large number of employees available to be cut.
Earlier this month, Elementor acquired Strattic, a static and headless WordPress hosting company. A representative from Elementor confirmed that no Strattic team employees were affected by the layoffs. The company declined to answer specific questions about whether all the discharged employees belonged to the marketing department or if developers were included among them.
Elementor’s former VP of Marketing, Yam Regev was not one of those cut from the company during the layoffs. Regev resigned a few weeks ahead of a large swath of the marketing team getting cut. He declined to comment on the layoffs but posted on LinkedIn that “the decision to move on is pragmatic and ego-less on such a level that I feel it is purely professional.”
Envato, the Australia-based digital assets company that sells thousands of WordPress products, has also recently laid off 100 of its 700 employees, roughly the same percentage as Elementor.
“We were spread too thin across all of these products we’d established,” Envato CEO Hichame Assi told told The Australian Financial Review.
“They’re all creative products, but some are older with legacy platforms, whereas some are newer and going really well. We wanted to sharpen focus on our future products that are going really well.”
Assi also cited global conflicts and inflation as factors affecting the company.
“There’s been flow on effects in markets like Europe and the US, and there has also been a pull down from inflation that has not helped as well,” Assi said.
These WordPress product companies join Netflix, Tesla, Coinbase, Zumper, Wealthsimple, Notarize, and many others in widespread tech layoffs.
This is driven in my opinion by the investors who want more and more profits out of these companies. Who can blame them in these difficult times of worldwide conflict political unrest? And people simply not being able to afford to fill their cars, their fridges and their cupboards. It could also be that these companies are getting ready for an IPO. It’s not uncommon to trim the sails in order to sell the boat for a higher price.