According to Layoffs.fyi, Udacity recently laid off 55 people, about 13% of its employees. A quick search on LinkedIn also confirmed that the company underwent “restructuring.” And upon further digging, I found that Udacity cofounder Sebastian Thrun had quietly announced the layoffs on the Udacity Blog:
“After a thorough strategic review, and in response to increasing market headwinds, we are taking a number of proactive, but difficult steps today to make Udacity’s business more sustainable for the long term. These actions affect fixed costs, discretionary costs, and — unfortunately — our people.”
In addition, Udacity CEO Gabe Dalporto is leaving the company, and Thrun is taking over the reins as Executive Chairman.
But in the decade since Thrun’s prediction, Udacity has shown other signs of turmoil besides repeated layoffs and ephemeral leadership, including drasticpricehikes and multiple pivots — most recently, towards corporate training. So Thrun’s prediction feels more uncertain than ever.
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Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.