Intercom to cut Irish jobs as it reduces global workforce by 13%

Company is latest tech firm to cut staff with Amazon also reported to be weighing lay-offs

Intercom founders Eoghan McCabe, Des Traynor, David Barrett and Ciaran Lee

Irish tech unicorn Intercom is to cut almost 40 jobs in Ireland but relocate 14 more to Dublin from the US, as part of a wider reduction in its global workforce.

The company said it would cut a total of 124 jobs from its staff worldwide, equating to almost 13 per cent, blaming growing its workforce too quickly for the “difficult news”.

The Irish operation will see a 5 per cent reduction in jobs as it consolidates its base in Ireland; this is in addition to previous job losses announced in September. In total, Intercom’s Irish workforce will be down about 10 per cent, but is still higher than last year.

“In Ireland, this will make 39 roles at risk of redundancy, and we will be relocating 14 roles from the US to Dublin,” Intercom said in a statement. “We still remain fully committed to Ireland and it will remain our hub of innovation.”


Intercom said it had notified the appropriate Government officials and would enter into a 30-day consultation period for roles at risk of redundancy this month. Those affected would be provided with transition and benefits packages.

“The reality is that we grew our headcount too fast compared to revenue growth and where the market was headed. These changes put the company in a strong and healthy position to execute our new, more focused strategy and big plans for the next year and beyond,” the company said in a statement.

Founded in Dublin in 2011 by Eoghan McCabe, Des Traynor, Ciarán Lee and David Barrett, Intercom’s software platform brings messaging products for sales, marketing and customer support together. Its products enable companies to communicate easily with customers through their own websites and apps, on social media and by email. The platform is used to send more than 500 million messages a month, with interactions with more than 600 million monthly end users. It counts the likes of Microsoft and Amazon as customers.

Intercom to cut 49 jobs from its global workforceOpens in new window ]

In September, Intercom said it would prepare for a tougher economic environment, cutting just under 5 per cent of its workforce globally, or 49 jobs from its 1,000-strong workforce. Twenty-three of those losses were in the Irish office, where the company employed about 400 people. Ireland serves as an engineering hub for Intercom.

At the time, the company said it had explored all other avenues to cut back on costs, and it did not plan further cuts. But the tech industry has been hit by a spate of cutbacks in recent months amid the global downturn, with Facebook culling 11,000 jobs, and Twitter shedding half its 7,000 workforce following its purchase by billionaire Elon Musk.

Fintech company Stripe also recently announced lay-offs, saying it would cut 14 per cent of its staff worldwide as the global downturn continues to hit the tech sector. In Ireland, where the company employs between 500 and 600 staff, about 80 people are set to lose their jobs.

Zendesk and Salesforce are also expected to shed jobs from their Irish operations.

Amazon to review unprofitable business units in cost-cutting pushOpens in new window ]

Meanwhile reports indicate Amazon is preparing to cut thousands of corporate workers, in what would be the biggest lay-offs ever by the company. The ecommerce giant plans to fire about 10,000 staff, The New York Times reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. That would equate to about 3 per cent of the firm’s corporate workforce. The cuts are likely to be focused on the firm’s devices unit, which includes its Alexa line, as well as retail and human resources functions. Amazon employs about 5,000 people in Ireland.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist