Tech layoffs: cybersecurity firm behind popular VPN services cuts around 180 staff

Image of padlock against circuit board/cybersecurity background
(Image credit: Future)

After Twitter, Meta, Google, and other Big Tech companies, now it's Kape Technologies' turn to enter the ring of tech layoffs. The popular cybersecurity company behind some of the best VPN services around has reportedly laid off around 180 employees across different departments.

Some of those departments included ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access (PIA), and CyberGhost. No one was safe, either, with high-level executives joining the ranks of those affected, and big names like Dan Gericke walking away from the business.

It's impossible not to wonder whether these events will impact the security of the virtual private network (VPN) services alongside the obvious discomfort of, now former, employees.  

Kape Technologies layoffs: what we know so far

LinkedIn is full of posts from former and current employees talking about the layoffs. The "Open to Work" banner circles the profile picture of many of those who are likely to have been caught in the crossfire.

Among words of encouragement, praising the hard work of ex-colleagues, some (even across higher roles) took the decision to leave the company altogether in the face of what was happening.

"As many of you may know, Kape Technologies (which includes ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and PIA VPN brands) was taken private on June 1st and this week decided to retrench about 30% of their global workforce," reads a post written by Dan G. (alias Dan Gericke) now ex-CTO at Express.

"I decided to exit along with my many amazing colleagues that were terminated and am officially announcing my departure as CTO of ExpressVPN and the Kape Privacy Division."

For clarification, Gericke's claim that 30% of the workforce has been made redundant does not correlate with Kape's offical statement which states a 12% reduction in workforce, which is available below.

Other allegedly former employees have been taking advantage of the anonymity granted by Reddit to express their discontent on how Kape's restructuring process seems to have been handled, and I have even received anonymous emails from people looking to express their concerns.

Kape Technologies lays off staff from r/Layoffs

Kape Technologies statement

On July 29, Kape Technologies issued a statement addressing the layoffs.

"[Kape Technologies] recently conducted an organizational restructuring. Following a careful evaluation, this included the difficult decision to implement a reduction in force, resulting in approximately 180 employees, around 12% of our workforce, being made redundant across the business.

"We want to emphasize that this outcome is in no way a reflection of current business performance, but is to prepare ourselves to grow faster in the coming months and years. By proactively addressing these challenges now, we can lay the foundation for a leaner and more resilient organization and be better equipped to seize new opportunities in the cybersecurity space."

Moving forward

We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with a number of parties involved. We are looking to keep updating this page as new information comes in, so we can show the truth of the situation. 

What's certain now is that these layoffs add to an already worrying scenario in today's tech sector that keeps cutting its workforce.

Be sure to stay tuned as the story develops.

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Chiara Castro
Senior Staff Writer

Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to