Twitter will cut 9 percent of its workforce, or roughly 350 people

Asa Mathat
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Twitter is cutting 9 percent of its staff, or roughly 350 people, as part of a broader plan to cut costs at the company and refocus its business.

Twitter announced the cuts early Thursday morning along with the company’s Q3 earnings, which beat Wall Street expectations. Employees were emailed just before the earnings were announced, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is set to address the staff at a company all-hands later this afternoon.

The cuts were not company-wide, but were heavily focused on Twitter’s marketing and sales teams.

“We’re getting more disciplined about how we invest in the business, and we set a company goal of driving toward GAAP profitability in 2017,” CFO Anthony Noto said in Twitter’s earnings press release. “We intend to fully invest in our highest priorities and are de-prioritizing certain initiatives and simplifying how we operate in other areas.”

Update: As part of the layoffs, Twitter is closing multiple international offices in Europe, including offices in Germany and the Netherlands where Twitter had media and sales teams, according to multiple sources. Most of the company’s other international offices, including those in Canada, Brazil, and most of Asia are still open. A company spokesperson declined to comment.

Twitter’s board of directors discussed cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, back in early September, and they follow an abortive sales process where multiple companies looked at acquiring Twitter and decided not to offer a bid. Bloomberg reported on Monday that layoffs were on the way.

The key obstacle to any potential Twitter acquisition was cost — with a presumptive price tag of at least $20 billion, Twitter was simply too expensive for anyone to stomach. Now the company is slimming down.

Last year, Twitter also cut 300 jobs shortly after Jack Dorsey took on the CEO role full-time. (Or part-time, given that he’s also running Square.) The current feeling among those close to the company is that Twitter is simply too bloated, and pays too much in stock-based compensation for a company that’s still not profitable.

Twitter had 3,860 employees as of June 30 and paid out $168 million in stock-based compensation in Q2; that amounted to roughly 28 percent of its quarterly revenue. For comparison, Facebook’s stock-based compensation was just 12.5 percent of its Q2 revenue.

Earlier this week, SunTrust analyst Bob Peck projected that layoffs like this could save Twitter $50 million to $100 million per year.

Twitter will host an earnings call with investors at 5 am PT Thursday to share more details. We’ll update as we hear more.

Update: Twitter COO Adam Bain shed a little more light on the layoffs during the company’s earnings call Thursday. He explained that Twitter had three sales channels before Thursday: A direct sales organization for selling to big brands, a mid-market organization for dealing with direct response customers and smaller brand marketers, and an SMB channel for small businesses. “We’re essentially taking our first two channels, and condensing them down together so we end up with just two channels [in total],” Bain explained.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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