Malwarebytes lays off 125 employees citing ‘strategic reorg’

Cybersecurity giant Malwarebytes has laid off 125 employees, or about 14% of its global workforce.

News of the layoffs began circulating on LinkedIn last week, with former employees sharing that they had been let go during “big layoffs” at the company. Marcin Kleczynski, who founded Malwarebytes back in 2008, confirmed the layoffs to TechCrunch.

One former Malwarebytes employee, who asked not to be named, told TechCrunch that it was communicated internally that 160 employees were to be laid off and that all departments within the business were affected. Employees were informed about the layoffs in individual Zoom meetings, during which they were told it was their last day at the company.

According to one online layoffs tracker, most of the layoffs were made in the San Francisco area. Malwarebytes also has offices in Florida, Estonia, Italy, and Ireland.

Kleczynski told TechCrunch that the move to lay off some employees was more of a strategic reorganization than a reaction to market conditions. “Unlike most tech companies, we generate positive cash flow to grow our business,” he said. “In recent months, we have increasingly refocused our business on SMB and mid-market customer segments in alignment with our mission to protect the underserved.

“We are shifting our go-to-market strategy to prioritize growing in these markets, including expanding our channel partnerships and accelerating our momentum with managed service providers (MSPs). Unfortunately, this has meant revisiting our current enterprise sales function and recalibrating the sales organization.”

Malwarebytes, which started life when Kleczynski was still a student, helps to protect millions of consumers and tens of thousands of businesses to protect against and remediate malware, ransomware and zero-day exploits. The company has raised a total of $80 million in funding to date, including a $50 million Series B investment from Fidelity, which valued the company at $625 million.

The security giant isn’t the only cyber startup to face layoffs in recent months. IronNet, a Virginia-based network security company, announced plans to let go of 55 workers, or 17% of its workforce, in June, while Lacework, a San Jose-based cloud security provider, laid off about 20% of its workforce of about 1,000 employees the previous month.

“While difficult, these changes reflect a careful realignment of our business moving forward to meet the needs of our customers and will enable the organization’s long-term growth,” Kleczynski added.

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