Atlassian, the software developer behind popular workplace productivity solutions Trello and Jira, is laying off 15% of its workforce – approximately 500 employees.

It is part of a far-reaching restructuring process that seeks to “better position” the firm for the long term.

The company announced its decision in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday morning – those affected should have received an e-mail from the company 15 minutes after the SEC document came out.

Let’s learn more about the hidden reasons behind the Atlassian layoffs.

Key Highlights

  • Atlassian Layoffs: Laying off 15% of its workforce (~500 employees) as part of a strategic realignment.
  • Strategic Focus: Aimed at prioritizing cloud migrations, ITSM, and enterprise cloud services, not due to financial issues.
  • Support for Affected Employees: Offering severance, accelerated vesting, healthcare for six months, and career services.
  • Communication and Farewells: Affected employees given access to communication tools for goodbyes until March 10.
  • Tech Industry Trend: Part of a broader trend of layoffs in the tech sector, with over 125,000 tech jobs cut in 2023.

Why is Atlassian Letting Go of So Many People?

According to Atlassian’s leadership, the firm has made changes to its inner works such as prioritizing resource allocation to keep thriving in what it considers a “changing and difficult macroeconomic environment”.

However, the company believes that these measures were not sufficient to better align the business with its priorities.

This prompted management to make cuts in areas that they don’t consider essential at the moment, based on Atlassian’s long-term goals.

“To be clear, this decision is not a reflection of Atlassian’s own financial performance, as we will be reinvesting in roles that better support our priorities. As a company, we have massive growth opportunities in front of us, particularly across cloud migrations, ITSM, and serving our enterprise customers in the cloud.

“Although hard, this rebalancing will help us put more wood behind these arrows,” commented the co-founders of the Australian-based software company, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.

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The filing specified that the talent acquisition, program management, and research & insights team will be among the most affected.

The company is offering 15 weeks of severance pay along with one additional week per every year of service.

In addition, laid-off employees will enjoy accelerated vesting for the next quarterly event and those who have worked for the firm for less than a year – who would not be eligible to enjoy this benefit under normal circumstances – will receive vesting for the number of quarters they have spent at Atlassian.

Moreover, Atlassian is offering health care coverage for a period of six months, paid counseling for visa arrangements for expatriated employees, and career placement services.

Curiously, Atlassian emphasized that employees will not be cut off immediately from accessing the programs that they used to communicate with their colleagues.

Instead, the firm is giving those who have been laid off a chance to say goodbye by using tools such as Zoom and Slack until Friday, March 10.

Based on the announcement article from Atlassian’s blog, here are some additional things that were considered when deciding the layoffs:

  1. Emotional Impact: The co-founders expressed deep regret over the decision, acknowledging the difficulty of saying goodbye to around 500 employees, which constitutes 5% of their workforce .
  2. Reasoning Behind Layoffs: The restructuring was a response to operating in a challenging macroeconomic environment. The company had to prioritize critical work for its current and future customers and rebalance the skills needed to align with company priorities .
  3. Selective Reductions: The layoffs were not broad-based cuts but targeted reductions in specific areas like Talent Acquisition, Program Management, and Research & Insights. The co-founders emphasized that the decision was about rebalancing roles, not a reflection of the affected employees’ contributions .
  4. Support for Affected Employees: Atlassian is offering a comprehensive support package to those leaving, including a global separation package, accelerated vesting, healthcare benefits for six months, visa support, the option to keep company laptops, internal mobility opportunities, and outplacement services .
  5. Communication and Farewells: Contrary to industry standards, Atlassian allowed affected employees to retain access to communication tools for a period, enabling them to say their goodbyes and share any necessary handovers .
  6. Guidance for Remaining Employees: The company urged remaining employees to respect privacy, offer support, and model leadership during this transition. This includes making space for those leaving and focusing on individual needs .
  7. Future Outlook: The message to remaining employees was one of resilience and optimism. The co-founders stressed the importance of focusing on a bright future for Atlassian, filled with opportunities and possibilities .

Tech Companies Have Laid Off Over 125,000 People Already in 2023

Forced departures in the tech industry continue to mount as time passes and, according to data from, more than 125,000 workers have been ousted thus far.

Atlassian’s layoffs stand out by number as they are the largest thus far in March, as per the website’s data.

tech layoffs surpass 125k mark in 2023

Other companies that have also let go hundreds of employees this month include SiriusXM, Alerzo, Loft, iFood, and Thoughtworks.

Meanwhile, it is not just small to mid-sized businesses which are being affected by the current macroeconomic environment as large corporations in the tech space have also taken similar actions.

Bloomberg News reported that Meta Platforms (META) – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – could be ready to move forward with a second round of cuts, just four months after it let go of 11,000 employees (13% of its workforce).

Not all companies are taking these actions to shore up their finances.

In some cases, they are reducing their headcount roughly two years after they were forced to aggressively hire personnel during the pandemic to cope with a spike in the demand for their products and services.

That said, others are anticipating that they will have a harder time securing the funding they need to stay afloat as financing conditions are not the same as two years ago.

By reducing their headcount and trimming their overhead, they can postpone the need to secure external financing.

Final Thoughts

The news of the Atlassian layoffs scared a lot of tech employees. However, these layoffs are part of a broader trend in the tech industry. They reflect strategic adjustments in response to a challenging macroeconomic environment.

These decisions are not solely based on financial struggles but are aimed at realigning company resources with long-term goals.

The tech sector, still reeling from pandemic-induced hiring surges, is now navigating tighter financing conditions, leading many companies, including Atlassian, to reduce headcount to sustain operations and prioritize future growth areas.