Xero to shed around 15 per cent of staff

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Xero to shed around 15 per cent of staff
Singh Cassidy with Steve Vamos and David Thodey, Xero

Online accounting company Xero is the latest tech firm to embark on a round of mass redundancies, saying it will lay off approximately 15 per cent of staff.

This amounts to 700 to 800 jobs being removed, freshly appointed Xero chief executive Sukhinder Singh Cassidy said.

Singh Cassidy was named as the replacement for outgoing chief executive Steve Vamos in November last year, and started in the job on February 28 this year.

The round of redundancies will start this week, beginning with staff consultations.

"As we discussed recently, as Xero continued to scale in recent years, we have grown our headcount, areas of focus and cost base at a faster rate than our revenue," Singh Cassidy said.

"Externally the broader tech landscape favoured high growth in this period; internally, we were less clear and measured in the rate of our hiring and investments," she added.

The Xero chief executive said the online accounting firm had decided to slow the rate of incremental headcount growth "significantly" which helped, but not enough.

Staff made redundant will get at least 12 weeks' worth of pay, and the employee share plan will vest on March 31.

Permanent employees will be able to keep their laptops, and American staff will continue to have existing healthcare premiums paid for six months.

Visa support up to NZ$1000 will also be made available, along with career transition support, and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for three months.

Singh Cassidy hinted at further redundancies coming up at Xero, as the company embarks on a deeper redesign of its technology function, to be completed by July this year.

Xero will also sell cloud-based landing platform Waddle in Sydney, which it bought in August 2020 for $31 million.

In 2021, CBA partnered with Waddle to offering factoring services, lending money against the value of outstanding invoices.

The mass redundancies at Xero follows collaboration software company Atlassian laying off around 500 staff this week.

Several other tech companies around the world such as Microsoft, Meta, Google and Salesforce have embarked on large staff layoffs, following hiring sprees during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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