Roku to axe 200 jobs as US enters economic slowdown

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Roku has become the latest US media firm to cut jobs, with 200 roles – representing 5% of its total workforce – set to be hit.

The company, which manufactures devices but is also a major player in FAST, has seen its share price plummet over the past year from $236 apiece this time last year to $56 yesterday.

It is now reacting to the widely foreseen economic slowdown by cutting 200 roles in the US, which it expects will cost between $28m and $31m in severance payments.

There is little detail on which departments will be hit, although its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the cuts would be completed within Q1 of 2023.

Roku had enjoyed rapid growth over recent years, pushing its FAST channel operation but also ordering original programming for its dedicated Roku Channel.

Shows included social experiment series The Marriage Pact and eight-part matchmaking series Match Me In Miami, as well as unscripted feature, To Paris For Love: A Reality ‘Rom Com’, from Reece Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Zoe Saldaña’s Cinestar Pictures.

Earlier this year, Roku signed a major content deal with Lionsgate to fuel The Roku Channel. The multi-year theatrical output deal sees Lionsgate films make their way to The Roku Channel following their first window on Starz. The agreement includes titles such as John Wick 4, Borderlands, Expendables 4 and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

Roku is not alone in shedding jobs, however, as inflation and economic fears mount. Tech outfits such as Meta and Snap have done likewise, while Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount have all been slashing roles.

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