Dropbox cuts 11% of global workforce to become 'more efficient and nimble'

Dropbox has laid off 315 individuals, forming 11% of the company, and was a move which CEO Drew Houston described as "necessary to implement the new strategies" it has shared over the last few months. Houston said in a message to employees that its Virtual First policy will require fewer resources to support its in-office environment. Hence, it is scaling back that investment and redeploying those resources to drive its product roadmap.

According to him, the changes will lead to "a more efficient and nimble Dropbox" and enable it to focus on its top priorities for 2021. The priorities are evolving the core Dropbox experience, investing in new products built for distributed work, and driving operational excellence.

"Over the past year, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of running a tight ship and getting the company ready for the next stage of growth. This will require relentless focus on initiatives that align tightly with our strategic priorities, and having the discipline to pull back from those that do not. Unfortunately, this means that we’re reducing the size of some of our teams," Houston said, adding that this was one of the toughest decisions he has had to make in his 14 years as CEO.

At the same time, COO Olivia Nottebohm is stepping down from her role, with her last day being 5 February. According to Houston, she has played "a pivotal role in setting [Dropbox] up for success in 2021" and he is very grateful for her contributions. According to her LinkedIn, Nottebohm joined the company in 2020 and was previously with Google for more than five years, last helming the role of VP, SMB, Google cloud and GTM operations.

During her time at Dropbox, she has unified its sales, marketing, and support teams to create a more cohesive customer experience, Houston said. He added that she brought a critical eye to the company's go-to-market functions, and championed its customers as it shifted to a fully distributed environment.

The company declined to comment on the impact on local market operations, but its spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that "this was an extremely difficult decision, but a necessary step" as it alights teams to its business priorities, which requires reallocating resources and eliminating some roles across the company.

"We’ll continue to invest in critical roles to support product expansion, growth initiatives, and service our customers. For affected employees, we’re committed to supporting them through the transition, including severance packages and job placement support," the spokesperson added.

Dropbox was recognised as one of the six best workplaces in 2020 by UK-based employee experience platform built Great Place to Work. At the same time, it was also ranked 15th and 28th respectively in Fortune Magazine's best workplaces in New York and the Bay Area. It also clinched 15th place for Fortune's best workplaces in technology last year.

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