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Roku lays off 200 US employees

Roku lays off 200 US employees


Entertainment, tech, and advertising companies are cutting back — Roku’s all three in one.

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Photo of a hand holding a Roku remote.
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Roku has announced that it’s laying off 200 US employees, or around 7 percent of its workforce, according to Variety. According to the company’s statement, the cuts are meant to reduce its “headcount expenses” by around 5 percent as it tries to spend less on operations in the face of “current economic conditions” in the advertising and streaming industry.

In some ways, the move isn’t necessarily surprising — several of Roku’s peers, such as Disney, Netflix, and Meta, have also announced layoffs in recent weeks and months.

However, cutting 200 jobs is a much harsher change than the company was predicting just over two weeks ago when it released its Q3 earnings report. Its shareholder letter does call attention to the fact that its staff had ballooned since 2021 because Roku’s leadership “believed that the economy was emerging out of pandemic-related disruptions,” but the remedy pitched was closer to slowing down on hiring rather than layoffs.

Roku has been warning investors of trouble for a while, though. In Q2, the company said that it was selling fewer streaming boxes, which impacts its revenue in more ways than one — like the extra money it makes from selling other streaming services advertising space on the shortcut buttons of its remote controls. Since then, the company has expanded its offerings by leaning heavily on original content and launching a lineup of smart home products in collaboration with Wyze.

Obviously, those efforts weren’t enough to save Roku employees from the wave of layoffs that have been hitting the tech industry at large. Companies like Amazon, Lyft, Twitter, and more have all announced mass layoffs in just the past month alone.