Naspers, Prosus to cut workforce by 30%

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 26 Jan 2023
Naspers and Prosus CEO Bob van Dijk.
Naspers and Prosus CEO Bob van Dijk.

Prosus and its parent Naspers are reducing their workforce by 30%, joining a growing list of tech companies that have shrunk their employee base in the past few weeks.

Naspers’s Amsterdam-listed Prosus unit announced the news yesterday.

The redundancies at the companies come two months after they announced group profit was negatively affected in its interim financial results, saying China-based Tencent’s lower contribution had an impact.

Prosus, which is 73%-owned by Naspers, holds a 28.9% stake in Tencent. The stake is valued at about $128 billion (R2.2 trillion).

In the interim results, Naspers said group trading profit declined by 38% to $1.4 billion, reflecting a lower contribution from Tencent and investment in e-commerce extensions.

Shamiela Letsoalo, communications director, Naspers South Africa, comments: “Naspers and Prosus announced the reduction of some roles across central functions; this will bring the reduction to 30% of group functions. After these reductions are completed, we would have reduced corporate centre headcount by 30% in the last 12 months.

“We are adapting to a changing macro environment and have been working for some time to strengthen our cost structures.

“Today we have announced the reduction of some roles across central functions, as we realign our efforts on specific areas and reduce our cost base. This is a sensitive process and we are committed to ensuring it is conducted with appropriate care, and that the outcome is managed in a fair and responsible way.”

With the planned job cuts, Prosus and Naspers have joined Amazon, Meta, Twitter, SAP, IBM and Salesforce as some of the global giants that announced wide-scale job cuts in the past few weeks.

Most of these companies cited uncertain economy conditions as the reason for the layoffs, saying they were prioritising the long-term health of their businesses.