Glossier Lays Off A Third Of Staff In 'Incredibly Tough' Decision

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Beauty brand Glossier has announced a mass layoff of 80 staff members, one-third of the total, via an email by company CEO Emily Weiss. 

In her email, which was obtained by Modern Retail, Weiss states that the decision to fire 80 employees was “incredibly tough,” and reasoned that the company “got ahead” of themselves “on hiring.” She also wrote that Glossier “prioritized certain strategic projects that distracted us from the laser-focus we needed to have on our core business: scaling our beauty brand.”

Last summer Glossier raised $80 million in Series E funding, which brought the company’s valuation to $1.8 billion, though the company has not gone public yet.

That mass layoff affects the technology team the most, with Weiss writing that Glossier is shifting its “technology strategy to leverage external partners for parts of [the] platform that [Glossier] currently maintain[s] internally.”

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A spokesperson for the company released a statement on the news which read that the beauty company believes “these changes leave us well-positioned as we continue to grow the brand long into the future.”

Glossier was founded in 2014 by Weiss, Nick Axelrod, and Michael Harper, and is headquartered in New York City. Weiss started the company as a side blog while working at Vogue, and once “Into the Gloss” reached 10 million page views per month she quit Vogue to focus on “Into the Gloss” and Glossier full time.

"I wanted to make beauty as much of an element of personal style as fashion," Weiss said on the founding of the company. "I became more and more aware of how flawed the traditional beauty paradigm is. It has historically been an industry based on experts telling you, the customer, what you should or shouldn’t be using on your face."

Kirsten Green and San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures helped Weiss raise $2 million in seed funding to start Glossier. Their first products launched in 2014 and a Fortune article described the company as “one of the most disruptive brands in beauty.” By 2019, the company was valued at $1.2 billion.

The brand has two sublines, both launched in 2019, GlossiWear and Glossier Play. Glossier Play was suspended in 2020.

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