Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman pushed back Wednesday against a Wall Street Journal report the new streaming service was considering laying off 10% of its approximately 250 employees.
Katzenberg and Whitman, in a memo sent to company employees, said “Quibi is in good financial position,” and that while the company is looking at ways to cut costs, “we are not laying off staff as part of cost saving measures.” Katzenberg and Whitman noted in the memo Quibi had recently added a dozen new employees. To save money, the company’s two leaders, along with about 11 other senior executives, will be taking a 10% pay cut.
“In regard to tightening our belt, our senior leadership team has volunteered to take a 10% pay cut because it’s the right thing to do,” Whitman and Katzenberg said in the memo. “We are excited about the future. As we shared in our most recent company meeting, the best is yet to come. We are confident in Quibi and the work that you are creating every day.”
Quibi launched in early April with $1.75 billion in funding and a who’s who of stars signed on to make shows, but has struggled out of the gates to win over viewers. The company’s critics have been more vocal in recent weeks, after founder Jeffrey Katzenberg told The New York Times “everything” about the app’s underwhelming launch stems from the coronavirus pandemic.
Quibi had 3.2 million downloads by mid-May, according to data provided by Sensor Tower. The app on Wednesday sits outside the top 200 free apps that are ranked on Apple’s App Store.
To hear what Quibi’s early users have liked and not liked about the app, you can read more here.