OpenSea CEO Announces Immediate Restructuring, Cuts Staff by 50%

BY Lorepunk

November 03, 2023

In an announcement posted on X, OpenSea’s CEO and cofounder Devin Finzer has revealed that the NFT marketplace will be retooling its product offer—and reducing its headcount, committing to prioritizing reliability, user experience, and speed as it publicly iterates on “OpenSea 2.0.”

“We’re proud to have built the first marketplace for NFTs, launching OpenSea beta back in 2017 when web3 was still in its infancy,” said Finzer in the announcement thread. “Back then, there were only a few projects on OpenSea, web3 didn’t work at all on mobile, and the term ‘NFT’ was just being invented…But we’ve also heard your feedback loud and clear: at times, OpenSea feels like a follower, not a leader.”

“And that’s not who we want to be. We want to move with speed, quality, and conviction to make more meaningful bets,” he said.

According to Finzer, reducing the size of the OS team will establish a new structural foundation for the company, with staff able to create a direct connection to users. “This is the most difficult part of this change. These folks played a key role in getting us to this point, and I’m incredibly thankful for their contributions…their departure is not a reflection on the people we’re parting ways with today. Others would be lucky to hire them,” he told nft now.

“This is the most difficult part of this change. These folks played a key role in getting us to this point, and I’m incredibly thankful for their contributions.”

Devin Finzer

The restructuring announcement comes on the heels of similar moves from other major companies in the space in the second and third quarters of this year, including Yuga Labs. More broadly, in Web3, firms, including Dapper Labs, also announced layoffs this year.

An OpenSea spokesperson shared details of the support package for departing employees with nft now. The package comprises four months of severance pay, accelerated vesting, and an additional six months of continued healthcare coverage.

Going into the broad strokes of the restructuring, the spokesperson explained that it will affect fifty percent of OpenSea’s employees, across all areas of the business. The spokesperson praised the employees leaving today, echoing Finzer’s view that any company would be lucky to have them.

The spokesperson also noted that the restructured organization will have a flatter structure, with fewer middle managers and lean, quick-moving teams with direct accountability—reflecting the rapid pace of technological and cultural change in web3.

Expanding on Finzer’s words on OS 2.0, they noted that the new product will not merely iterate on what began in 2017, but will take advantage of the team’s better knowledge of NFT use cases that the platform should support. It will also be designed for scalability and extensibility, the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson emphasized that OpenSea will continue to champion creators, with a strong series of upcoming drops, the recent launch of OpenSea Studio, and this week’s launch of Storytelling features on collection pages.

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