Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of bacteremia and sepsis. The interaction of S. aureus with the endothelium is central to bloodstream infection pathophysiology yet remains ill-understood. We show herein that staphylococcal α-hemolysin, a pore-forming cytotoxin, is required for full virulence in a murine sepsis model. The α-hemolysin binding to its receptor A-disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10) upregulates the receptor's metalloprotease activity on endothelial cells, causing vascular endothelial-cadherin cleavage and concomitant loss of endothelial barrier function. These cellular injuries and sepsis severity can be mitigated by ADAM10 inhibition. This study therefore provides mechanistic insight into toxin-mediated endothelial injury and suggests new therapeutic approaches for staphylococcal sepsis.