Block layoffs rock tech, 1K jobs gone at Jack Dorsey’s fintech

January 31, 2024

TLDR: Jack Dorsey’s fintech firm Block is laying off nearly 1,000 employees, affecting staff in its Cash App, Afterpay, and Square subsidiaries. The decision was made to streamline operations and take immediate action rather than prolonging uncertainty. Block had previously announced plans to reduce its headcount from 13,000 to 12,000 by the end of the year. Revenues from Cash App and Afterpay have declined, and Square faces competition from other companies in the market. Block reported $5.62 billion in revenue for Q3 2023. Dorsey was appointed Head and Chairperson of Block in September 2023.

Jack Dorsey’s financial services company Block is laying off close to 1,000 employees, which will affect staff in the Cash App, Afterpay and Square subsidiaries of the company. About 1,000 people — or 10 per cent of Block’s headcount — were impacted by the decision, according to a report from Insider.

“We decided it would be better to do at once rather than arbitrarily space them out, which didn’t seem fair to the individuals or to the company. When we know we need to take an action, we want to take it immediately, rather than let things linger on forever,” Dorsey wrote in an internal memo to employees.

In an earnings call last year, Block had said it would reduce its headcount from 13,000 in Q3 2023 to an “absolute cap” of 12,000 by the end of this year. Revenues from Cash App, the peer-to-peer payments service, have declined significantly, reports TechCrunch. Meanwhile, its buy now, pay later (BNPL) service Afterpay, which Block acquired in 2021 for $29 billion, has posted serious losses. Square also faces competition on multiple fronts, including from Fiserv’s Clover, Toast and Stripe.

Block reported $5.62 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2023, with $44 million in profit on its Bitcoin holdings. In September last year, Dorsey was appointed Head and Chairperson of Block (earlier called Square) he co-founded in 2009. Dorsey’s title changed from “Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairperson” to “Block Head and Chairperson,” effective immediately.

“There will be no changes in Dorsey’s roles and responsibilities, and he will continue to serve as principal executive officer of the company,” Block said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In December 2021, Dorsey’s financial services company Square announced to change its name to Block.

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