Roku cuts a further 200 jobs to reduce escalating operating overheads

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Roku has announced plans to cut a further 200 jobs, equivalent to around 6% of its total workforce, as it continues to feel the impact of the US economic downturn.

The company, which manufactures devices but is also a major player in FAST, expects the move will cost between $30m and $35m in severance payments, according to its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The layoffs follow a previous 200 jobs being cut by Roku in November, after its share price plummeted from $236 apiece to $56 over the course of a year. As of today, Roku shares stand at just under $62.

Roku says these latest redundancies will help to reduce year-over-year operating expense increases, which soared by 71% in Q4 2022. They did not specify which departments would be losing staff but said that the cuts would be completed by the end of the second quarter and would allow the company to prioritise projects with “a higher return on investment.”

Former Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier took the helm of Roku in October 2022, heralding several changes among the higher ranks including the promotion of David Eilenberg to head of content at Roku Media, and the exit of Rob Holmes.

Earlier this month, Colin Davis, head of scripted originals for the Roku Channel, left the company to join Sony Pictures Television, with Brian Tannenbaum promoted to take over his current role.

Roku had enjoyed rapid growth over recent years – adding 10 million users in 2022 – 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.

Last 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.

Read Next