Utah tech company Pluralsight lays off more workers

About 400 were let go in December. The company has not announced how many were laid off this week.

Four months after Utah-based tech company Pluralsight laid off 20% of its staff, the company has made more cuts to its workforce, according to an internal blog post provided to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The company had not replied as of 5 p.m. Friday to Tribune inquiries about how many people lost their jobs earlier this week, but according to the internal blog post, the layoffs included staffers working in video content production, curriculum and engineering.

Pluralsight, which is headquartered in Draper, sells subscriptions to its training software and online classes that cater to government agencies, universities, colleges, and vocational schools.

Founded in 2004, the company went public in 2018, and had a net loss of $163.5 million in 2019 and $164 million in 2020, according to SEC documents. Pluralsight announced in 2021 that it would go private again after the company was acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $3.8 billion.

This past Dec. 12, less than two weeks before Christmas, CEO Aaron Skonnard emailed employees “one of the toughest messages that I’ve ever delivered” — that the company was laying off 400 staffers, about one in five employees, because of the “challenging economic environment we’re operating in and how it has affected our business performance.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Aaron Skonnard, CEO at Pluralsight, speaks at the Silicon Slopes Summit, on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

At the time, Skonnard apologized to his employees — “We’ve let you down during a difficult time” — but he also expressed optimism: “This is indeed a sad day. But as I look to the future, I am optimistic and believe strongly in Pluralsight’s mission and the value we will continue to bring to customers around the world.”

On Monday, senior vice president of domains Ben Henderson sent a blog post to the company’s “author community,” announcing that Pluralsight had “initiated a restructuring” that included layoffs of staffers in “curriculum management, content direction, project coordination, and video and assessment content production,” according to the internal blog post shared with The Tribune.

He wrote that “in order to better compete and win in a fast-changing and challenging market landscape,” the company is restructuring its workforce and “reducing the size of the production and operations teams overall where we have identified opportunities for consolidation of functions as part of the new centralized model.”

Henderson, who works remotely from Australia, also announced his resignation to “optimize … time with my young family.” Meghan Manfre, the current head of security and tech foundations teams, will be the interim head of content, Henderson wrote.

Chief product officer Gary Eimerman will also depart the company in June, the blog post noted. In a video sent to the company’s author community, Eimerman said the layoffs and restructuring are “part of our effort to ultimately help create, design and deliver on the best product … in the most efficient way.”

He went on to say that after 18 years with Pluralsight, “I’ve made the decision to go ahead and spend more time and focus with my growing family.”

Ai-ling Chang, a longtime staffer at Pluralsight, will replace him as interim chief product officer, the blog post noted.

Pluralsight in 2017 was offered a state tax incentive worth up to $21 million if it met the terms of a contract with the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity to create 2,464 jobs over 10 years.

Layoffs reduce the tax incentives offered to companies and can disqualify them from receiving a tax credit, according to the Office of Economic Opportunity.