Thread regarding Citrix Systems Inc. layoffs

A Citrix story

Citrix is in a ho-e it may not get out of. It has a set of products that didn’t keep pace and continue to lose relevance. The pace of industry change over the last ~5 yrs. caught leadership off-guard, coupled with a very different Microsoft no longer interested in super closed ecosystems (Ballmer’s Microsoft gave Citrix a long lease on life). Naturally, leadership’s job was to lay out a clear strategy for the company and use the sizable war chest to prevent this situation but that didn’t happen. None of the existing products provide a credible path to growth. The only interested buyers would gut the company, keep a small customer support crew and milk renewals for as long as possible (there are a few companies that specialize in this space). There might also be some licensable IP. There is zero interest from anyone to buy the technology/products because there are better and cheaper options. Unless Citrix figures out a way to sell at a discount, or there is some genius financial engineering, there is little chance it will find a buyer in this frothy market.
How did we get here?
1 - The canary in the coal mine is the fact that only a tiny percentage of Citrix employees use Citrix, since at least 10 yrs ago. Sure, as a point solution to apps that one couldn’t get to from the local desktop (SAP?)- but that was it. If you don’t use your own tech products, you know something is not quite right.
2 - Citrix always sold to and appealed to IT infrastructure managers. Quick solution to deploy problematic apps in a somewhat effective way. But the infrastructure is now going to cloud providers who can stream desktops and apps on the cheap - with features and functionality that easily rival whatever Citrix has. The new buyers are gone. Would a company created today, or during the last decade, need Citrix? The answer is no.
3 - The lure of “easy” money over hard work/high risk was too much for the leadership (looking at you DH). Easier to roll acquired products/technologies as value-add fillers to enterprise and platinum license editions to convince customers to continue renewing or “trade-up”. Some of the acquisitions could have delivered high growth and top line in their own right, but the stomach to invest and risk was never there.
4 - Leadership and strategic changes that stalled the company. A mix of bringing in the wrong outside talent combined with shrewd long term insiders that sabotaged new, risky initiatives. Would a new, risky pívot work? We will never know. But the Zoom market cap is multiples CTXS. Hmmm.
5 - No strategy. Duh! Financial metrics became THE strategy. As a public company, if you have a compelling strategy, investors will overlook short/medium term financials knowing you will come through. Citrix has no strategy and no values (otherwise, why rebrand every two years?). So, if you have no strategy, investors are right to demand you maximize your short term financial performance and return money to shareholders. Enter Elliot! Efficient resource utilization and financial management are now the core competencies.
6 - “Growth” from the last few years is a bunch of smoke and mirrors. Clever price increases and nice tricks with license trade-ins/upgrades have created a barely credible illusion of “organic growth” and “customers migrating to our cloud products”. But Elliot is back. Someone smells a fish.

So - yes, the culture is toxic. The managers can be cut-throat. Typical of companies that are no longer growing and are on their way down. Managers are under huge pressure to deliver the numbers. Individuals are stretched thin. Leaders are freaking out, and when they freak out, they micromanage. That means more TPS reports and more often. All of it a vicious cycle and part of the death spiral.

The dream? To find a buyer that takes Citrix off the public eye, relieves pressure, and gives people the time and space to reimagine the company. If there are people that can do that, none of them are in the existing executive team. Do they exist? We shall see.

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Post ID: @OP+1d40UufD

7 replies (most recent on top)

Sh-trix is a very toxic environment

Post ID: @Dpdm+1d40UufD

just because you change the logo does not make you a new company .
they change the brand ever 5 years.

Post ID: @1hed+1d40UufD

so well said. The company has continued to add duct tape onto their solutions.. add some bells and whistles.. they call it "innovation"... but when you take a step back.. all they they have is a smattering of a few marginally helpful point solutions that were only relevant 5-7 years ago. No forward vision, and no reason for customers to trust Citrix compared to our more dedicated and proven competitors. Definitely will be a case study for future MBA classes.

Post ID: @1drx+1d40UufD

Whoever posted this should get a high five from every employee right there in Stella’s dining room at the FTL campus so Davey Boy can get an eye full

Post ID: @1xaa+1d40UufD

What non sense?

We have the Workspace app, a top quality web wrapper - that improves the employee productivity by a factor of 0.00045 and is used by 2.5 Citrix employees on a monthly basis.

Secondly, apart from product branding changes we changed the company logo as well, which was a novel thinking. How many companies do you know of that archived this milestone in last few years? 3, may be 4? We are too 5 in innovative thinking.

Regarding hiring, no we did not lower the performance bars by only hiring from outside. Promotions were also done for non achievers to ensure that there is no shortages of incompetency across multiple leadership and management levels. We are equal opportunity provider.

Post ID: @1bcg+1d40UufD

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