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ConnectWise lays off workers

Margie Manning

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ConnectWise

ConnectWise, a managed IT services provider and software developer in Tampa, has cut its global workforce by 4 percent.

Jason Magee, CEO, said the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the company’s ability to execute on its 2020 plans and to invest for the future. The decision allows ConnectWise to remain healthy and get its plan back on track, he said in a statement provided to the St. Pete Catalyst. (See Magee’s full statement below.)

About 100 people were laid off, although ConnectWise is not disclosing the exact number involved, said Jen Locklear, chief talent officer. The biggest impact was in Tampa, the headquarters location, but the layoffs were across the board, across all business units and offices in several locations.

When ConnectWise was preparing its strategic vision for 2020, the company’s focus was on helping its customers achieve their vision for success, Locklear said. That involved investing more compensation dollars in growth areas, while letting other areas shrink through attrition.

“When COVID hit it really slowed that attrition. So instead of seeing roles open up and the compensation dollars being able to be applied in different areas, we were faced with a situation where it was a volatile economy and we weren’t seeing the attrition we needed to enforce that strategy,” Locklear said. “That’s why we had to make the tough decision to go ahead and do the layoffs.”

ConnectWise has engaged a Tampa-based human resources firm, livingHR, to help the laid-off workers. That firm is  providing career transition options, calling each person who was impacted to get them back in a new job, Locklear said. Three former ConnectWise workers already have gotten new job offers, she said.

She’s encouraging local companies in the area with job openings to hire the laid-ff workers if they can. ConnectWise also hopes to re-hire some of the laid-off workers and is encouraging them to re-apply for jobs that post that need their skill sets.

Small and mid-size companies throughout the managed services and software industry are being impacted in a similar manner because of the pandemic, Locklear said. “That’s why it’s more important than ever that we make sure we invest where we need to, to keep those customers and their customers thriving … and to keep afloat during this volatile time.”

ConnectWise was the Tampa Bay area’s first “unicorn,” a designation for tech firms with a valuation of $1 billion or more. It was acquired last year by Thoma Bravo, a technology-focused private equity firm.

At the time of the acquisition, ConnectWise had a  valuation of $1.2 billion and $243 million in annual revenue. It had 1,050 employees worldwide, 800 of them in Tampa.

Late last year, the company added four C-level executives to its leadership team.

Here’s the full statement that CEO Jason Magee sent out Tuesday:

“Today (Tuesday) has been a tough day for everyone at ConnectWise, as we completed a 4 percent reduction of our global workforce. These decisions were not made lightly, and the impacted colleagues are receiving severance, benefits, and transition services.

We had a plan in place for 2020 for our business, that allowed us to align and invest for the future.  Like many others, as a result of COVID-19 and the continued global economic uncertainty, we experienced a disruption in our ability to execute on those plans and needed to make the tough decision to pivot on our approach.

This decision was hard, but purposeful. It allows us to remain healthy and puts us back on track to execute against our plan, so we can continue to invest in strategic areas that will move the company forward: making our products more secure, creating a unified platform, transforming partner experience, and helping our partners achieve their vision of success. 

The cuts were tactically made across the company, and ConnectWise is in a healthier position to better invest resources where partners need us most. It ensures we can continue to be resilient and flexible to ongoing change and need, better enabling both our partners and ConnectWise to persevere together in our combined future.” — Jason Magee, CEO, ConnectWise

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