Atlassian’s workforce cut by five per cent

Brandon How

Atlassian will cut 500 jobs from its workforce, joining other tech giants like Microsoft, Google and IBM, although the founders claim the decision is not a ‘financially driven reduction’.

The cuts represent a five per cent reduction of Atlassian’s workforce but are not equally distributed across the company. Affected teams include talent acquisition, program management, and research and insights.

It comes less than six months after embarking on a recruitment drive, with the company announcing in August plans to hire more than 1000 new employees over the next year.

The Sydney-headquartered software firm announced the redundancies in a submission to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in line with its obligations for being listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Mike Cannon-Brookes Scott Farquhar
Atlassian co-founders and co-chief executives Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar

The cuts are expected to cost Atlassian up to $75 million, with $27 million to $29 million expected to result in future cash outlays related to severance, notice period, employee transition and benefits payments. The remaining costs are associated with “accelerated vesting of share-based awards and exit charges associated with office space reductions”, according to the submission to the SEC.

The company joins several other tech giants, including Google, Amazon, Salesforce, and Twitter, who have cut tens of thousands of jobs in the last few months. The wave of redundancies follows a huge tech rally during the peak of COVID-19.

Staff were informed of the cuts in a blog post jointly written by co-founders and co-chief executives Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, followed by an email notifying each staff member if they had been affected.

“A month back we reorganised our company to better reflect operating in a changing and difficult macroeconomic environment. We made tough calls to prioritise the most critical work for our current and future customers,” the blog reads.

“While it helped us streamline work, we need to go further in rebalancing the skills we require to run faster at our company priorities.

“To be clear, this decision is not a reflection of Atlassian’s own financial performance, as we will be reinvesting in roles that better support our priorities.

“As a company, we have massive growth opportunities in front of us, particularly across cloud migrations, ITSM, and serving our enterprise customers in the cloud. Although hard, this rebalancing will help us put more wood behind these arrows.”

Employees who have lost their job will be offered a global severance package of 15 weeks plus an additional work per year of employment at Atlassian and will continue to have employer-sponsored healthcare for the next six months.

The co-founders also noted that staff will be able to access their company communication applications including Confluence, Slack, Zoom, and Gmail, until March 10.

While maintaining an apologetic tone throughout, the co-founders concluded their blog reiterating that they are “incredibly sorry for the impact this will have on you and your family”.

In January, contacted Atlassian to enquire about potential plans for job cuts but did not receive a response.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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