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More layoffs at Roku, with plans to cut 10% of staff

Streaming device maker Roku on Wednesday said it will lay off 10% of its workforce — reportedly cutting about 300 people — in the third round of staff reductions within a year for the San Jose-based company.

The company said it continues to evaluate its operations to save costs. It plans to further cut expenses by reducing its office space, removing certain licensed and produced content from its streaming platform, decreasing outside services expenses and limiting its new hires, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Roku has faced a challenging environment for media and entertainment advertising. Hollywood’s business has been severely hobbled by the ongoing strikes by film and television writers and actors.

“It’s been challenged industrywide, and we expect it to be further pressured in the second half of this year by the limited all release schedules arising from the current labor strikes,” said Dan Jedda, Roku’s chief financial officer in an earnings call in July.

Roku previously announced in November 2022 that it would cut 200 jobs and in March 2023 said it would lay off 6% of its workforce.

The company ended 2022 with 3,600 employees in 14 countries. A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to how many Southern California staffers would be affected in this round of layoffs or whether there would be any impact in its real estate footprint in Santa Monica.

The company in the second quarter reported a net loss of $107.6 million, compared with a loss of $112.3 million a year earlier. Revenue was $847 million in the second quarter, up 11% from a year ago.

“While consumer spend is showing some modest growth, macro concerns and uncertainty remain,” Roku’s CEO Anthony Wood and Jedda wrote in a shareholder letter in July.

The workforce reduction is expected to be complete by the end of its fourth quarter, Roku said.

The company said it expects to have a $45-million to $65-million restructuring charge related to the layoffs, a $160-million to $200-million impairment charge related to “ceasing to use certain office facilities” and a $55-million to $65-million impairment charge for removing content from Roku-operated services.

During the pandemic, Roku had experienced significant growth in its streaming services and expanded its staff in Santa Monica. The company, known for its connected TV devices and streaming TV platform, had expanded into other production categories over the years, including making and designing its own branded TVs and smart home products.

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