UPDATED 15:15 EDT / OCTOBER 16 2023


Stack Overflow lets go 28% of its workforce in cost reduction push

Stack Overflow, the company behind the popular coding forum of the same name, is letting go 28% of its workforce in a bid to cut costs.

Chief Executive Prashanth Chandrasekar announced the move in a blog post published today.

The company, which is incorporated as Stack Exchange Inc., didn’t specify the exact number of affected employees. But Chandrasekar disclosed last October that Stack Overflow had 540 staffers at the time. That suggests more than 140 employees will be let go as part of the layoffs announced today.

Stack Overflow grew to 540 workers last October after doubling its headcount over the preceding year. In an interview with The Verge, Chandrasekar said that 45% of the new hires had joined the company’s go-to-market team. He added that this team constituted the largest department within Stack Overflow.

In the blog announcing today’s layoffs, Chandrasekar stated that a sizable portion of the job cuts will affect go-to-market roles. “Supporting teams and other teams across the organization are impacted as well,” he added.

Stack Overflow launched in 2008 and went on to raise more than $150 million from prominent investors such as Andreessen Horowitz. In 2021, it was acquired by Prosus NV for $1.8 billion. Prosus is a Netherlands-based investment firm focused on the technology sector. 

The company makes money by displaying ads on its namesake coding forum and the dozens of other similar, topic-specific forums it runs. Additionally, it sells a software-as-a-service application called Stack Overflow for Teams. That allows enterprises to create an internal forum where their developers can exchange technical information. 

In July, Stack Overflow expanded its product portfolio with an artificial intelligence suite dubbed OverflowAI. The suite includes a tool that allows developers to access programming explainers within Visual Studio Code, a popular code editor. OverflowAI also offers search features that likewise promise to help software teams more quickly find technical information.

Three months after launching the AI suite, Stack Overflow is now prioritizing profitability. The layoffs announced today are part of that effort. “Our focus for this fiscal year and into the next is profitability and that, along with macroeconomic pressures led to today’s changes,” Chandrasekar wrote. 

It’s possible the cost of developing OverflowAI was a factor in the company’s push to lower expenses. Building large AI models and performing inference, the task of processing the user requests sent to a neural network, can both be pricey. Microsoft Corp.’s GitHub Copilot coding assistant reportedly loses $20 per user per month, while each question sent to ChatGPT costs OpenAI LP an estimated four cents. 

“As we finish this fiscal year and move into the next, we are focused on investing in our product,” Chandrasekar wrote. “Our new team structure best positions us to succeed when it comes to these initiatives.”

Image: Stack Overflow

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Your vote of support is important to us and it helps us keep the content FREE.

One click below supports our mission to provide free, deep, and relevant content.  

Join our community on YouTube

Join the community that includes more than 15,000 #CubeAlumni experts, including Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, and many more luminaries and experts.

“TheCUBE is an important partner to the industry. You guys really are a part of our events and we really appreciate you coming and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy