Malwarebytes lays off 100+ workers ahead of planned company split

Cybersecurity provider Malwarebytes Inc. has laid off more than 100 workers amid a restructuring initiative that will see it split into two companies.

TechCrunch first reported the move on Thursday, citing a former Malwarebytes employee. Marcin Kleczynski, the company’s chief executive, confirmed the layoffs to the publication. He said that between 100 and 110 workers are affected.

Santa Clara, California-based Malwarebytes provides a popular consumer antivirus of the same name. The antivirus can catch multiple types of malware including ransomware and zero-day threats, or malicious programs that exploit vulnerabilities not known to cybersecurity researchers. Malwarebytes says it has millions of users worldwide.

Besides the antivirus segment, the company also competes in other parts of the consumer cybersecurity market. It offers a virtual private network tool for establishing secure network connections. Malwarebytes also provides a browser extension, Browser Guard, that can block malicious websites.

The company sells the consumer version of its antivirus alongside an enterprise edition. The latter offering can detect malware on not only employee devices but also servers. Additionally, it provides a management console that allows administrators to monitor the security of multiple systems through a centralized interface.

Kleczynski told TechCrunch that Malwarebytes is profitable. This week’s layoffs, he said, were made as part of an effort to reduce costs. The move comes about a year after the company let go 125 workers in connection with a reorganization of its go-to-market operations.

TechCrunch’s source said that Malwarebytes has also let go its chief product officer, chief information officer and chief technology officer recently. Kleczynski confirmed that the company had “made leadership changes.”

The executive added that the workforce reduction comes amid an effort by Malwarebytes to split its consumer and enterprise businesses into two separate companies. The deal will be officially announced in the coming weeks, Kleczynski detailed.

Malwarebytes recently acquired a startup called Cyrus Security that developed a cybersecurity application for consumers. The application can detect if a user’s personal information appears on hacker forums and also provides a number of other features, including a built-in VPN. The technology that Malwarebytes obtained through the acquisition could help enhance the product portfolio of its consumer business following the corporate split.

The workforce reduction that Malwarebytes announced this week follows a year in which several other cybersecurity companies also made layoffs. 

Snyk Inc., which sells tools that help developers detect vulnerable software code, let go 198 employees last October. More recently, Rapid7 Inc. cut more than 400 positions in August as part of a cost reduction push that will also see it close multiple offices. Secureworks Inc. announced plans to let go 15% of its workforce around the same time. 

Image: Malwarebytes 

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