Sophos Cuts 10% of Jobs in Pivot to Managed Detection and Response Services
by D. Howard Kass • Jan 19, 2023
Sophos, a cybersecurity specialist, is laying off about 10% of its workforce, or 450 people, blaming it on an “internal restructuring” to optimize growth and profitability and perhaps most importantly, on a decision to focus more on cybersecurity services.
Why the Layoffs?
U.K.-based Sophos said the jobs cuts were tied to a strategic retrenching to focus more on a subscription-based model, specifically on managed detection and response services. Many managed security service providers (MSSPs) focus on those services. The layoffs may affect all job roles, the company told TechCrunch, which first reported the layoffs.
In an email, a Sophos spokesperson confirmed the job cuts. The move has “resulted in job losses and the start of consultation periods…,” the spokesperson said.
Sophos declined to confirm the exact number of workers who have been pink slipped. The spokesperson said Sophos is “taking these steps for two main reasons: first, to ensure that we achieve the optimal balance of growth and profitability to support Sophos’ long-term success, which is particularly important in the midst of a challenging and uncertain macro environment; and second, to allocate our investments across the company to support our strategic imperative to be a market leader in delivering cybersecurity as a service.”
Private equity firm Thoma Bravo acquired Sophos in a $3.9 billion deal in March 2020.
Tech Layoffs Abound
Sophos joins a growing list of technology companies that have laid off staff, partly owing to a deepening economic slowdown. Microsoft this week let loose some 10,000 staffers, or 5% of its workforce, in what the company said was a cost-cutting move.
In recent months, Amazon and Meta have also laid off thousands of workers. Of note, tech giants Apple and Alphabet have so far held the line on layoffs. On January 20, Google’s parent Alphabet announced the layoff 12,000 employees.
Some companies have blamed the layoffs on over-hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic in response to the growth of online services and cloud computing. In some regard, the Sophos layoffs may be an early signal that demand for skilled cybersecurity pros to fill an estimated three million open positions is cooling over economic concerns.