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Zendesk Layoffs to Eliminate 8% of Global Workforce

Negative macroeconomic conditions prompted the layoffs.

Edward Gately

May 31, 2023

3 Min Read
Zendesk Layoffs to Eliminate 8% of Global Workforce

Zendesk layoffs are impacting 8% of the company’s workforce, or about 320 of more than 4,000 employees across the globe.

Zendesk CEO Tom Eggemeier sent a note to Zendesk employees about the layoffs on Wednesday.

Zendesk provides customer experience (CX) software.

Alaina Ross, go-to-market (GTM) data analyst at Zendesk, was among the employees impacted by the layoffs.

“Sad to say I’ve been included in the most recent round of Zendesk layoffs,” she wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Bummed, but also looking forward to spending some ‘work’ days learning new skills to apply and finding new, exciting opportunities.”

Hiring Outpaced Zendesk’s Business Realities

Eggemeier said from 2020 to 2022, Zendesk’s hiring outpaced its business realities.

Keep up with our telecom-IT layoff tracker to see which companies are cutting jobs and the ensuing channel impact.

Eggemeier-Tom_Zendesk.jpg

Zendesk’s Tom Eggemeier

“When I joined at the end of November, I’d hoped a combination of improving macroeconomic conditions and streamlining costs would help us avoid this moment,” he said. “Unfortunately, macroeconomic conditions have not improved and we find ourselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

At the same time, Zendesk customers are navigating massive shifts in how they do business, including increased pressure to deliver profitable growth and leveraging fast-advancing technology like generative artificial intelligence (AI), Eggemeier said.

“To best serve our customers, we have to sharpen our focus, and wherever possible direct our talent and resources to our highest priorities, including maturing how we go to market, and building new products and capabilities that deliver tremendous value,” he said. “This necessitates taking a thoughtful look at our teams and how we best balance the needs of all of our stakeholders.”

Last November, a group led by global investment firms Permira and Hellman & Friedman completed their acquisition of Zendesk in a $10.2 billion, all-cash deal. The acquisition took Zendesk private.

Zendesk Layoffs Latest in Barrage of Tech Job Cuts

The Zendesk layoffs are just the latest among companies doing business in the channel. Job cuts have impacted thousands of workers since the start of the year. Among the most recent layoffs are CDWF5, Akamai, Vodafone and BT.

“I took on the role as CEO because I’ve admired Zendesk for many, many years,” Eggemeier said. “We have great products, but now having worked here at Zendesk, I know how great our people are, too. For those impacted, I want to say again how sorry I am and reiterate how grateful we are for everything you have given Zendesk. The fact that these changes will impact your lives weighs very heavily on me and, as CEO, I take full responsibility for this decision.”

Looking ahead, Zendesk has an “incredible opportunity” to lead the new era of intelligent CX, he said.

“The new solutions we introduced at Relate – Zendesk AI and Conversational Commerce – will help our customers transform the way they do business,” Eggemeier said. “To close, I ask that you continue to help us do right by Zendesk customers, partners, and your current and departing teammates by being conscientious, collaborative and solution-oriented.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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