DocuSign lays off 6% of workforce as reported private equity takeover talks stall

DocuSign has revealed that it’s laying off 6% of its workforce, impacting some 400 employees.

In an SEC filing, the e-signature software company said that the “restructuring plan” will mainly impact those in its sales and marketing teams, and is likely to cost DocuSign between $28 and $32 million in terms of severance payouts, benefits, and other associated costs.

The announcement comes as amid growing rumors that DocuSign was the target of a $13 billion takeover bid, with private equity firms Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman reportedly jostling for the deal — however, Reuters reported yesterday that their interest had cooled after failing to reach an agreement on the fee.

As with many companies during the pandemic, DocuSign’s fortunes soared due to the sudden push toward remote everything, hitting a market cap of more than $60 billion in 2021. But reality finally hit as the world transitioned back to something close to normality, with DocuSign’s valuation nestling closer to its pre-pandemic level in around the $10 billion mark.

It’s also worth noting that DocuSign is the latest in a line of tech companies to undergo more than one round of layoffs as they look to cut costs. The company laid off 9% of its workforce in late 2022 followed by a further 10% just months later.

DocuSign says that this latest round of layoffs is designed to “strengthen and support its financial and operational efficiency,” and that it expects to “meet or exceed” its financial guidance at its Q4 2023 earnings next month.

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