Citrix lays off hundreds of people worldwide

Citrix has begun laying off employees after a summer of tumult that started with the replacement of Kirill Tatarinov as CEO by David Henshall. We’re keeping track of developments here.

This is a developing situation, so we’ll update it as needed.

Update, Monday, October 9: Now that some of the initial dust has settled, here's full analysis of the Citrix layoffs.

Citrix is in the midst of a round of layoffs that appears to be pretty significant. Many employees were sent meeting invitations for Wednesday morning, which set off a series of conversations on TheLayoff.com. Though it's not the most reliable source, other sources have confirmed that the UK offices have been drastically affected, including 30 people in Cambridge and another 64 in Chalfont. HDX R&D was run out of the UK, so we can expect that it was affected along with other areas.

Other locations impacted include:

  • Raleigh, NC – Home of ShareFile, which seems to be taking the brunt of the U.S. activity. Per BizJournals.com, the headcount now sits at 619 employees, down from 800 at the end of 2016 (though some of that reduction can be attributed to the GoTo spinoff).
  • Bedford, MA – Home to the MCS and PVS teams.
  • Bangalore, India - Around 40 people, mostly on the XenServer team, were let go.
  • Santa Barbara, CA – Home of Citrix Online, which was mostly former GoTo employees that now work for LogMeIn. The only Citrix employees left were working with RightSignature.
  • Redmond, WA – Citrix maintained offices here for many years as part of their Microsoft partnership. It sounds like 25 employees were sent home and the office will be closed. (There may be other teams there that are unaffected, so the office may stay open)
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL – Corporate HQ

Citrix released a statement (via WRAL TechWire, a technology news site covering the Raleigh area) that confirms the layoffs are happening "around the world." There are a few groups that seem to have been targeted. Here are a few, though I’m sure I missed several:

ShareFile

It appears that ShareFile is one of the harder hit areas. In the same statement, Citrix indicated that they are "repositioning and optimizing ShareFile for the enterprise market to better align and leverage Citrix’s broader go-to-market motions and resources, including our 100,000+ strong large enterprise customer installed base; accelerate development of differentiated functionality for ShareFile Enterprise; and enhance integration and leverage of content collaboration as a differentiated component of Citrix Workspace Service. This allows us to more effectively drive ShareFile growth as well as more efficiently integrate it into our broader cloud go-to-market motions. While we will still sell into and support the SMB market, our focus is on enterprise."

Most of that reads as “big words, numbers, big words, blah blah” PR babble-speak. ShareFile represents a sizeable portion of Citrix's Software-as-a-Service revenue, which is the business unit that shows the most growth in quarterly filings, so it's safe to say that ShareFile isn't going away. But if it was productive, why let so many go? It could be that they're getting ready to part with ShareFile or streamlining the operation to make it more palatable for a potential acquirer.

Application Layering

Per Jeff Pitsch on Twitter, the entire App Layering Solutions Architect group was let go. While that doesn’t mean Citrix is killing off the product they acquired from Unidesk earlier this year, it does seem to indicate something more than a straightforward housekeeping operation. App Layering being what it is, Citrix’s Solutions Architects were the best-qualified people to fill that role, and laying them off means that customers interested in App Layering aren’t going to get the kind of guidance they need to deploy something that complex. It does not appear that Citrix Consulting has been affected, however, so there is likely still some expertise with regards to App Layering there.

Other people/areas

We’ll add in updates here on other areas that are affected.

Additional posts to TheLayoff.com note that there were cuts made on the XenMobile Frontline support team. There is also a note that a Senior Director and Architect were let go, and that XenMobile now reports to the Cloud team.

 Senior Technical Marketing Manager Ken Staples (and former BriForum speaker) announced that he was let go on Twitter.

4:49 EDT: An email from CEO David Henshall was posted to TheLayoff.com in which he notes that Citrix will be winding down products that are non-core to Citrix's strategy. You can read the entire thing, but the gist is that they are looking to divest themselves of Octoblu. Any future IoT efforts from Citrix will be in conjunction with market-leading IoT platforms.

RightSignature will be integrated into ShareFile Enterprise.

Those changes will result in the closing of the Santa Barbara office, where RightSignature was based, and the Tempe office, which was occupied by Octoblu.

XenMobile is moving to the Cloud organization to better align it with Microsoft EMS and Google's Android for Work, Chromebooks, and G Suite.

4:53 EDT: Sources say that while the App Layering SEs were let go, the developers and management have been retained.

5:07 EDT: No final numbers have been released, but multiple sources have said there was a directive to layoff 10% of the workforce. Citrix is estimated to have between 8,000 and 9,500 employees, so that puts this round of layoffs in the 800-950 area.

So what’s next?

Despite talk of another round of layoffs coming in December (which I chalk up to FUD right now...everyone is scared of a layoff in December), these moved happened for a reason. The idea that Citrix is in good hands now that a fellow Citrite is at the helm is more or less gone now, since the teams that were let go certainly seemed to be essential to the success of the existing customer base, especially the HDX R&D team and the office in Redmond.

You could take this as a move to streamline the organization as they move towards the cloud/security vision that Kirill outlined at Synergy, but that seems overly optimistic at this point. Citrix still showed a small amount of growth among their existing businesses, and those bringing those customers along into the new era would be critical to that future vision. You’d think that if Citrix’s goal was to see that vision through, they’d be doing what they could to protect their image and at least portray stability.

That’s why this seems like the beginning of the end. As we learn more about which groups are being hit the hardest, it appears that things are being done for the purpose of either A) immediately pleasing shareholders, or B) setting up for an acquisition of some sort. Odds are, it’s both.

I hate writing these kinds of articles because I have friends affected by it. There are many, many good people out there looking for work now (or hopefully considering retirement and fishing all the time), and our thoughts are with each of you.

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I did Fortune 100, never again.  Every year we had tons of layoffs and the CEO statements were always the same, "We're going to be re-aligned, more focused, ready for the next big thing, blah blah blah"  I still haven't seen after 20 years in IT how you can do more with less when it comes to these layoffs.  
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Actually, they should start reducing the workforce on "FAT" resources and backoffice such as HR. Only then HR will feel the pain of layoff
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Sad to hear.
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The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated... wasn't that Mark Twain?

Anyway. App Layering is alive and well. Yes, there was a change on the pre-sales side. Like any other change, the beginning is painful, the middle is a mess, and the end is success. None of the dev teams were touched and our strategic goals and tactical changes remain the same.  Unidesk / App Layering is alive and well.
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Well put, Ron! Keeping my fingers crossed for you, your team and your work!
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Sad to hear.  Maybe Microsoft will buy what's left ...
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This is not new for Citrix and for the most part most other IT services.. what we need to look at is the growth and vision coming out of it. If there is vision we should see business growth.
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