Utah-based Pluralsight moves jobs to India after laying off 400 employees

The company is also lowering the pay for the authors who create the training content it sells to clients.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Pluralsight headquarters in Draper on Wednesday, August 24, 2022.

Pluralsight, a Utah tech “unicorn” that laid off 400 employees earlier this month because there was a “challenging economic climate,” has told employees some of those jobs are being relocated to India — and that the writers who are doing its Create courses, would now be paid less. according to information from The Salt Lake Tribune.

Chad Utley, the company’s senior vice president of skills content development, told the company’s authors in a video call this week that these changes are part of a reorganization to “position the company for future success” after the company also experienced “poor results ‘ had like this year’s ‘macroeconomic conditions’.

“This has certainly challenged us to be more efficient with the resources we have,” Utley said, “to meet our goals as we head into 2023.”

Jobs set to be moved to India include teams supporting the “author’s home product,” such as “author opportunities, author analysis, as well as author expertise,” Utley said. Pluralsight describes its thousands of authors as “seasoned experts” who “deliver the content needed to take your skills to the next level.”

Pluralsight, which sells subscriptions to its training software and online courses, became at least the fourth Utah-based “unicorn” — a private startup valued at more than $1 billion — to downsize in the fourth quarter of 2022, following Route and Podium earlier this month and MX in October. These cuts came after layoffs had already spread across Utah companies, particularly in technology positions.

CEO Aaron Skonnard told workers in a blog post that a “challenging economic environment” worsened in the final quarter of the year, necessitating downsizing and restructuring.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight, to speak at the Silicon Slopes Summit on Friday, September 30, 2022.

“As your CEO, I own this result and take full responsibility for the decisions that brought us here,” he said.

A call and email to Pluralsight were not immediately answered on Friday.

Utley said Pluralsight has spent the last year building “technical teams” in India and the company expects to transition author support teams there in the first half of 2023. He did not say how many jobs the company will create in India.

This week the company listed vacancies for an India-based talent acquisition specialist, a software developer and manager in business development and product and technical support. All but three of the 35 vacancies listed on the company’s website are based in India.

Utley also told the authors that the company is “updating” the “revenue attribution” this month to “more accurately link author payouts to video viewer counts.” He said that “Revenue attribution simply determines the breakdown of subscription revenue associated with author-created video content and any other functionality that Pluralsight develops and sells to its customers.”

As the company has grown, Utley says its customers are asking for fewer videos and more “hands-on experiences.” For example, he said business customers want more features to assess the skills their employees are learning from Pluralsight products.

“As a result, we expect video content revenue to decrease by approximately 25%. We recognize that the timing of the postponement will never be optimal,” he said, “but I would like to note that we do not currently anticipate such a significant shift in the future.”

According to job posting site Indeed.com, the average salary for a Pluralsight writer is $80,850 per year. This varies greatly depending on how many courses an author creates.

Utley said the company will now spend more to create these course assessment features that show clients “where they have gaps and needs and how to address them.”

Founded in 2004, Pluralsight became a public company in 2018. It suffered a net loss of $163.5 million in 2019 and $164 million in 2020, according to SEC documents.

A lawsuit in which Pluralsight claimed it made misleading statements about its sales force in 2019 was recently partially reinstated by the 10th US Circuit of Appeals in Denver. The move allowed two mutual funds that had sued to pursue some of their claims in federal courts. Pluralsight has denied wrongdoing.

[Read more: Investors in Utah’s Pluralsight get a 2nd chance to prove an executive misled them while he was selling his stock]

Pluralsight announced that it was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in April 2021, meaning its stock has ceased trading and the company is no longer listed on a public stock exchange. According to Pitchbook, Vista paid about $3.8 billion for the company.

In 2017, Pluralsight was offered a tax refund worth up to $21 million if it met the terms of a contract with the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity to create 2,464 jobs over 10 years. A government database shows that as of March, Pluralsight qualified for zero to 25% of that total tax credit.

Layoffs reduce the tax incentives offered to companies and may bar them from receiving a tax credit for a period of time, according to the Office of Economic Opportunity.

Editor’s Note • This story is available only to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/12/23/utahs-pluralsight-moving-jobs/ Utah-based Pluralsight moves jobs to India after laying off 400 employees

Justin Scacco

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