Block lays off over a thousand employees from Cash App, Foundational, and Square
Dorsey had previously warned employees to expect staffing reductions, indicating Block would cap its headcount to around 12,000.
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Financial services firm Block Inc. has laid off over a thousand employees this week, nearly 10% of its staff, as part of a broader restructuring first outlined by co-founder Jack Dorsey last year.
A from Business Insider indicates that the cuts have already been in place since at least December 7, 2023, with Dorsey hinting at the prospects of making Block “leaner” in terms of organization.
Dorsey had warned employees to expect staffing reductions, indicating Block would cap its headcount to around 12,000 by the end of 2024 after ballooning to 13,000.
The cuts impact workers across several divisions in which Block operates. Cash App, Foundational, and Square, as well as other core operations, are facing layoffs as the company aims to align staffing with the current state of its business.
In an internal memo on Tuesday, Dorsey said the layoffs focused on teams at Cash App, Block’s Foundational segment, and Square. He characterized the moves as an effort to make the company more efficient and do away with redundancies.
“We decided it would be better to do at once rather than arbitrarily space them out, which didn’t seem fair to the individuals or to the company,” Dorsey shares.
The cuts build on a year of significant downsizing across the tech sector. Firms like Meta, Amazon, and Alphabet have trimmed headcounts after overhiring during the pandemic, while many startups have also laid off workers amid tighter funding conditions. The crypto industry specifically has seen its own wave of layoffs as token prices plunged in 2022.
Block has bet heavily on crypto as a core part of its future, most recently unveiling plans for a self-custody Bitcoin wallet. It continues to operate the Cash App, which allows users to trade bitcoin and stocks, along with Square’s point-of-sale systems and other payment infrastructure. The company’s revenue hit $5.62 billion in Q3 2023.
The internal sent by Jack Dorsey to Block staff can be read below.
* Today our Cash App, Foundational, and Square teams are parting ways with a large number of our teammates. Following the “constraints” email I sent last year, each team took some time to evaluate themselves through a lens of stronger performance and stricter prioritization. Cash assessed each team’s position against Cash App’s long-term strategy to determine where reduction, consolidation, or reorganization is needed — Global, Marketing, and Commerce are most affected, however every discipline is getting leaner. Foundational focused on restructuring, centralizing, and reducing layers of management to address redundancies. For Square, the majority of our impacts fall within the Marketing, Creative, and PMM teams, where we’ve reduced overall budgets so we need to adjust team sizes.*
Why is so much happening in one single day? All of these teams were confident in the direction they’re taking, and were ready to take action within the same 2-3 weeks. We decided it would be better to do at once rather than arbitrarily space them out, which didn’t seem fair to the individuals or to the company.
When we know we need to take an action, we want to take it immediately, rather than let things linger on forever. By now our teammates who will be leaving us have been notified, and throughout the day we’ll be connecting with those entering a consultation process in countries where it’s required.