Security News

Malwarebytes Lays Off 125 Employees, Expands Channel Focus

Jay Fitzgerald

CEO Marcin Kleczynski says the move was the result of a ‘strategic reorganization’ that includes a refocusing on the channel.

Malwarebytes CEO Marcin Kleczynski

Malwarebytes has become the latest cybersecurity company to lay off workers.

Citing the need for a “strategic reorganization” that includes a renewed emphasis on its channel business, Marcin Kleczynski, CEO and founder of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based Malwarebytes, is confirming his antivirus company last week laid off about 125 workers, or about 14 percent of its global workforce. The staff cuts were across all departments.

In a statement issued by the company, Kleczynski insisted that Malwarebytes is in good financial shape and that the staff reductions were the result of its own long-term planning moves, not the result of outside market pressures.


Unlike most tech companies, Malwarebytes generates positive cash flow to grow our business, so this was more a strategic reorganization than a reaction to market conditions,” Kleczynski said in his statement.

  “In recent months, Malwarebytes has increasingly refocused our business on the small-medium business (SMB) and mid-market customer segments in alignment with our mission to protect the underserved,” he added.

“We are shifting our go-to-market strategy to prioritize growing in these markets, including expanding our channel partnerships and accelerating our momentum with managed service   providers (MSPs).”

The company, which was founded in 2008 and has raised about $80 million in funding over the years, did not provide details on what percentage of its revenues currently come via the channel. A spokesman said Kleczynski wouldn’t be available for comment on Friday.

But in his statement, Kleczynski said the shift in the go-to-market strategy has come at a cost. “Unfortunately, this has meant revisiting our current enterprise sales function and recalibrating the direct sales organization,” he said.

Nonetheless, he added in his statement: “The reorganization enables Malwarebytes to focus resources on re-emphasizing our efforts on the channel with a broader portfolio of offerings, adding new partners, significantly expanding our existing MSP business and working to provide them additional resources for success.”

Kleczynski concluded his statement: “While a difficult transition, these changes reflect a careful realignment of our business moving forward to be a partner-centric organization in service of our customers and the organization’s long-term growth.”

  While trying to distance itself from the recent staff cuts at other tech companies, Malwarebyte’s recent layoffs, first reported by TechCrunch, do fit a pattern of some cybersecurity firms laying off personnel.

Later-stage cybersecurity companies, such as Lacework and Cybereason, have been particularly hard hit by the recent drying up of the IPO market, a development that’s forced them to tighten their belts to conserve cash.

Malwarebyte’s last funding round was in 2016, when it raised $50 million in Series B investments led by Fidelity Management and Research Co.

On social media, some former Malwarebyte employees were busy putting out the word that they were looking for work.

“Due to the #layoffs at Malwarebytes [last week], I am looking for a new role and would appreciate your support,” Paige Ross, a former sales development manager at Malwarebytes, wrote on her LinkedIn page. 

“To any colleagues that were also affected, please don‘t hesitate to reach out for a recommendation or an introduction to anyone in my network.” 





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Jay Fitzgerald

Jay Fitzgerald is a senior editor covering cybersecurity for CRN. Jay previously freelanced for the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Boston magazine, Banker & Tradesman,, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other entities. He can be reached at

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