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Boston software company PTC lays off workers

The firm’s CEO said restructuring will help save $60 million a year.

Software firm PTC's Boston workspace.
Software firm PTC's Boston workspace.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

PTC is laying off an undisclosed number of workers, as the industrial software developer seeks to consolidate its customer-support staff.

The Boston-based company said it would cut a number of jobs as part of an effort to save $60 million per year. The goal of the restructuring is to simplify customer support, chief executive James Heppelmann said on a call with analysts on Nov. 3.

Calling the current system “inefficient,” Heppelmann ticked off at least seven separate groups within the company that deal with customers, including post-sales consulting, customer success management, and technical support. All of the groups will now be combined into one called “customer success.”

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Customers will “have one customer success contact rather than many,” he said. “There’s nothing but goodness here for everybody. Customers prefer this model, and it will save PTC a lot of money as it is much more scalable.”

The cuts follow advice PTC got from consulting firm McKinsey about future strategy, Heppelmann said.

PTC, which has about 6,500 workers globally, declined to disclose how many jobs were cut, or where they are located.

“While we regret the impact that this realignment has had on some of our employees, by this time next year, we expect to have a larger workforce than we have today,” PTC said in a statement to the Globe. “As a part of these changes to fully become a cloud-first software company, we will be adding new jobs in Massachusetts and around the world.”

The cuts come even as PTC is still growing, with revenue increasing 23 percent to $481 million in its most recent quarter ended Sept. 30. The company’s net income of $293 million was up more than fivefold from a year earlier. Most of the increase was from PTC’s investment in Matterport, a 3D-imaging software firm that went public in July, and a tax accounting change.

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PTC, known for its industrial design software, was founded in 1985. The company makes software for designing everything from large machinery to factory parts. It also has expanded into the business of collecting and analyzing data from machines in use.

Once a high-flying company, the company cratered during the dot-com bust.

In 2010, Heppelmann took over as chief executive, pushing the company into different lines of business. During his tenure, the company moved into connected devices, acquiring a platform for the Internet of things, called ThingWorx. It also entered the augmented reality market, acquiring a platform called Vuforia. In recent years, its industrial design software has moved to a subscription-as-a-service model.

In 2019, the company moved from Needham to new headquarters in Boston’s Seaport district. The move into the city was part of Heppelmann’s bid to transform the company’s culture, and make it more attractive for young workers.


Aaron Pressman can be reached at aaron.pressman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ampressman. Pranshu Verma can be reached at pranshu.verma@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @pranshuverma_.