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Ancestry Lays off 6 Percent of Employees due to Consumer Slump

NEW YORK – Ancestry has laid off 6 percent of its workforce because of a downturn in its AncestryDNA consumer genomics service business. 

CEO Margo Georgiadis said in a blog post on Wednesday that the company has "seen a slowdown in consumer demand across the entire DNA category" over the past year and a half.

Ancestry rolled out its AncestryDNA service in 2012 and is a market leader, with more than 16 million people tested using its Illumina-made microarray platform. However, Georgiadis said the DNA market has reached an "inflection point" as most early adopters have already taken its test.

"Future growth will require a continued focus on building consumer trust and innovative new offerings that deliver even greater value to people," Georgiadis said. She specifically mentioned the company's new AncestryHealth service as a potential future growth driver. "We’re just starting to see the full potential for how genetics impacts health," she said. The company will also renew its focus on its online Family History business, she added.

Prior to the cuts, Ancestry said it employed 1,700 people, most of them based in Utah, with offices in San Francisco and Dublin, Ireland. The company is the latest consumer genomics player to downsize due to poor sales in the consumer market. Just weeks ago, Mountain View, California-based 23andMe laid off 100 staffers – about 14 percent of its workforce.