This is an email that was sent out to all Twilio employees today from Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson.
A company optimizes for its environment. For the last 15 years, we ran Twilio for growth, building a tremendous customer base, product set, and revenue base. But environments change – and so must we. Now we have to prioritize profit far more than before. We’re exiting the last phase with a great market position, and very strong cash reserves, but unfortunately that’s not enough to get us through the next phase. We have to spend less, streamline, and become more efficient. To do that, we’re forming two business units: Twilio Communications and Twilio Data & Applications. And today, I’m unfortunately bearing the news that we’re parting ways with approximately 17% of our team.
This is upsetting to be sure, so I want to share with you the reasons for making this tough decision, as well as some other changes.
They will be better able to sprint towards their objectives with greater independence and focus
I want to discuss with you why I made this difficult decision and some other adjustments because I know this is distressing. It has become clear that we require major structural adjustments to properly execute our plan, as we’ve been honing it over the past few months. This is due to the different lifespan stages and operational requirements of the two components of our business, communications and software.
Our communication skills need to improve. We must quicken growth for Segment, Flex, and Engage. Our existing organisational structure hinders our progress towards these two objectives, which are essential to our aspirations for development, profitability, and a Customer Engagement Platform. These are distinct duties for our teams.
To better serve our customers, we are creating two business units: Twilio Data & Applications, managed by Elena Donio, and Twilio Communications, led by Khozema Shipchandler. Each will be able to optimise based on the requirements of their respective clients and companies, and both will have sales, R&D, and operational resources. They will be better able to sprint towards their objectives with greater independence and focus, but they complement one another very well. I have often stated that Twilio’s products work better together—than we are One Twilio—and my conviction remains the same.
Twilio is aiming at simplifying business
When we examine these two business areas separately, we’ve become too big, especially in Communications. And for that reason, we are firing several of our coworkers today.
You may want to know why we’re reducing the staff more after the September layoffs. We then aimed to simplify the business as it was then set up. However, today’s news focuses more on the need for new organisational structures and the reforms that will be required to implement them. Our capacity to create profit and growth—both of which are essential in this new environment—is increased by the rearrangement as much as the cutbacks.