Crypto startup Polygon Labs cuts 60 jobs, or about 19% of its global workforce as tech layoffs top 30,000 in 2004

Crypto startup Polygon Labs announced it plans to reduce its workforce by 60 positions, or about 19% of its global workforce. The decision comes as the company undergoes its second round of layoffs, amidst a tentative recovery in the digital assets market.

Back in February of last year, Polygon faced similar circumstances, letting go of 100 employees due to a widespread downturn in the industry that resulted in the loss of trillions of dollars.

In a recent blog post, Polygon CEO Marc Boiron said, “Earlier this week, we initiated discussions regarding the future trajectory of Polygon Labs. Today, I want to provide further updates regarding organizational optimization.”

Boiron continued, emphasizing the company’s mission to revolutionize the internet for global accessibility. He acknowledged the need for the organization to adapt quickly and streamline its operations to achieve this goal effectively. Recognizing the challenges ahead, Boiron explained that the decision to downsize was necessary to enhance efficiency and agility within the company.

Expressing regret over the layoffs, Boiron added that while the company’s aim has always been to ensure the happiness of its employees, it saddens him that the company couldn’t fulfill this for many of its staff.

“As such, today, we’ve made the difficult, but necessary, decision to say goodbye to 60 teammates, roughly 19% of the team. When I started the role of CEO, I pledged to make you all the happiest employees in the world. While that goal will never cease to be my North Star, it pains me that I failed to make that happen for many of our teammates,” Boiron added.

Polygon ensured that affected employees would receive two months of severance pay and continued health benefits through February’s end, where applicable. Additionally, the compensation for remaining employees will see an increase of at least 15%, while new hires will receive a 5% raise.

Polygon now joins a series of tech companies that announced layoffs in 2024. Earlier in the week, eBay announced its plan to cut around 1,000 positions, approximately 9% of its current workforce, while Microsoft announced layoffs affecting 1,900 employees at Activision Blizzard and Xbox.

These job cuts are part of a broader trend of layoffs in the U.S. tech industry following extensive hiring during the pandemic, affecting even major players like Amazon and Google. As of January, reported that 29,475 workers have been laid off from 107 tech companies, marking the highest number since March when nearly 38,000 people in the industry faced job losses.

Founded in 2017 as Matic Network by Jaynti Kanani (who stepped down in October 2023), along with Sandeep Nailwal, Anurag Arjun, and Mihailo Bjelic, Polygon stands as a blockchain scaling solution designed for Ethereum. Its primary goal is to provide quicker and more cost-effective transactions. In January 2023, Polygon Labs was formally introduced as the entity tasked with nurturing and expanding the Polygon ecosystem.

Below is part of the message Boiron shared with Polygon’s employees.

Polygon Community – Today, I shared an update with the Polygon Labs team in regard to optimizing the organization. Below, please find the copy of the that communication.

An Update on Polygon Labs, Polygon Ventures and Polygon ID

Earlier this week, we started a discussion about the future direction of Polygon Labs. Today, I want to share additional updates in regard to optimizing the organization.

As you know, our mission is to fundamentally change the Internet so that everyone in the world is empowered to equitably access its value. As an organization, we’ve made changes over the last few months to push us to move faster, break down barriers, strategically align teams within Polygon Labs, and ensure that we focus on our mission so that we can succeed faster than anyone else in the web3 ecosystem. We have no doubt made immense progress and the Founders and I are proud of everyone for all the work you’ve done to adapt and rise to the challenge ahead. However, to move as ambitiously and nimbly as possible where everyone is able to take ownership of what they’re doing, we must create an efficient surgical team, with significantly less bureaucracy. As a smaller team, we can collaborate more, expedite demanding projects and execute at our highest potential.

This is especially true because achieving this mission is no easy feat; it requires extreme focus, diligence, efficiency and agility — all qualities that are enhanced by the values we seek to embody at Polygon Labs. Unfortunately, the team’s rapid growth in the last bull market diluted these qualities, and we must come back to them.

Impact on the team and reasoning for changes:

As such, today, we’ve made the difficult, but necessary, decision to say goodbye to 60 teammates, roughly 19% of the team. When I started the role of CEO, I pledged to make you all the happiest employees in the world. While that goal will never cease to be my North Star, it pains me that I failed to make that happen for many of our teammates.

This decision is not an easy one. Right-sizing for the sake of enhanced performance, rather than for financial reasons, may seem unconventional. The reality is that achieving our mission often demands challenging decisions, and while difficult, the Founders and I agree that we must move forward in a thoughtful way that gives us the greatest chance to execute successfully.

I recognize there is no right way to let someone abruptly know that they are impacted by this decision, and even though we have already notified these team members (and discontinued their access to our systems, for security reasons), we will speak to them personally as well. These calls will happen today to explain the decision, address questions, and express gratitude for their contributions.

For impacted team members, we are offering 2 months of severance and health benefits through the end of February in locations where we provide health benefits.

Separately, the People Team has created a list of impacted individuals – purely on an opt-in basis – in which they can add details related to their professional background to be shared with our collective network, including recruiters at web3 projects, talent partners at venture capital firms, and hiring managers in the space. As long as impacted individuals agree to it, we also will share their information internally so that everyone can stay connected.