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Layoffs for the future | Financial Times

“Of course you know I feel like a bad news bearer/I don’t want to be, but I need it, so what do you have?” Andre 3000

Many (possibly smart and well-paid) tech sector workers have recently lost their jobs at Spotify. One of the newest to wield an ax. Tracker can be found here.

On a micro level this is obviously very sad. Losing your job sucks, especially if you depended on your employer’s support for things like medical bills and visas.

At the macro level, here are the answer options for this: [delete/add as appropriate]:

β€” Technology companies bloated.Hard to cut, but healthy in the long run
β€” These job cuts should be viewed in the context of the large-scale hiring that many have done in the last year.Net, many still growing
β€” Dismissal of skilled workers is a Schumpeterian catalyst

To shake hands, it will probably take years, perhaps decades, to really understand the impact of these layoffs on the economy.

One of the things we have now is a dismissal letter.as war often is innovation incubatorLayoff Rounds, provides unique insight into the latest developments in the world of corporate communications.

In 2023, how will you tell someone you’ve been fired? Alphaville’s linguistic takeaways are:

Satya Nadella, Microsoft (January 18th, 10,000 laid off / 5% of employees)

It’s funny to call a letter “communication”. Imagine that children sent Santa Claus a “contact” request for gifts each year.

Also, “focusing” on “short-term and long-term opportunities” is meaningless unless there are medium-term opportunities that you intend to ignore.

Nadella (emphasis):

We know this is a difficult time for each affected individual. Through this process, the senior leadership team and I The most thoughtful and transparent way possible.

Well then.

Thinking about this moment, the beginning of 2023, it’s show time β€” For our industry and Microsoft. As a company, our success must match the success of the world.

According to Google, the most culturally famous “It’s showtime!” is a phrase used by The Incredibles in the 2004s. Mr.The IncrediblesA flabby, past-era superhero After that I have a hard time doing exercises, before much of the film was incarnated by artificial intelligence. There is no possible reference trap for Microsoft there.

Rating 8/10: Delivers a message with a healthy amount of frightening ambiguity.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta (November 9, 11,000 layoffs / 13% of employees)

want to be accountable About these decisions and how we got here. I think this is difficult for everyone. I am especially sorry for those affected.

Cambridge Online Dictionary

With that in mind, Zach’s definition of accountability/responsibility is unlikely to boil down to whether he’s the perfect person to lead the company he founded, for example.

At the onset of Covid, the world rapidly moved online and the surge in e-commerce led to a significant increase in revenue. Many predicted that this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue long after the pandemic was over. So did I, so I decided to significantly increase my investment. Unfortunately this didn’t work as I expected. Not only has online commerce returned to previous trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and loss of advertising signals have resulted in revenues far below expectations.I got this wrong and I take responsibility for that reason. ..

. . I have also made the difficult decision to let people go.

Me take responsibility, you I lose my job. sorry. We think creating everything about himself fits a little bit into his USP for the overall meta product.

Given the amount of access to sensitive information, we have decided to remove access to most meta systems for people retiring today.

It’s good to see where Meta draws the line when it comes to handling confidential information.

Rating 2/10: The elephant in the room whispers softly when crushed against a wall.

Daniel Ek, Spotify (January 23, 600 layoffs / 6% of workforce)

As stated in the band manifesto, change is the only constant. For this reason, and I repeat again and again, speed is the most defensible strategy for companies. But speed alone is not enough. It also needs to operate efficiently. ..

While we’ve made great strides in improving speed over the last few years, we haven’t focused as much on improving efficiency. It’s slowing down because it still spends a lot of time syncing slightly different strategies.

I’m not convinced that “speed” is the solution to the problem of change, or that “speed” itself is a strategy.

One-on-one conversations will be held with all affected employees over the next few hours.

“Affected” can be taken to broadly mean dismissed.

I take full responsibility for the actions that have brought us here today.

have understood.

In almost every respect we have achieved what we set for 2022 and the overall business is on track.

If your boss tells you that your company is doing well, run away.

Rating 4/10: Slow and lots of haste.

Patrick Collison, Stripe (November 3, about 1,000 layoffs / 14% of the workforce)

We’re downsizing our team by about 14% and saying goodbye to many talented stripes in the process. If you are impacted, you will receive a notification email within 15 minutes. To those who withdraw: We are very sorry to have to take such measures. John and I take full responsibility for the decisions leading up to it. ..

We overhired for the world we live in (more on that below). It pains us that we can’t provide the experience those affected have hoped to get with Stripe.

The theme that emerges from these letters is that ‘affected’ means ‘fired’ and ‘responsible’ means ‘sad but not fired’.

Rating 5/10: Mediocre, but at least dismissed employees avoid extra suspense.

Andy Jassy, ​​Amazon (January 5, 18,000 laid off)

These changes will help us pursue long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure. But I’m optimistic that we’ll be creative, resourceful, and crafty during this time, when we haven’t been hiring on a large scale or cutting some roles.

It is important here to emphasize the difference between being ‘witty’ like ‘inventive/innovative’ and being resourceful.

I want those affected by these cuts to know how much I appreciate my contributions to Amazon and the work I do for our customers. rice field. For those of you who continue to travel with us, we look forward to partnering with you to make your everyday life better and easier, and to continue to innovate to make it happen.

“Oh my god, I just got the email. I’m affected by the cuts.”

Rating 6/10: Crap.

Sundar PichaiAlphabet (January 20, dismissal of 12,000 people)

This means we are saying goodbye to the incredibly talented people we have worked so hard to employ and have loved working with. The fact that these changes affect the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me and I take full responsibility for the decisions that have brought us here.

Responsibility strikes again.

I think there are many questions about how we move forward. We will have a Town Hall on Monday. Check the calendar for details. Until then, take great care as you absorb this difficult news. As part of that, if you’re just starting out, Please feel free to work from home today.

Divide and conquer.

Rating 5/10: Hmmm.

Marc Benioff, Salesforce (January 4th, 8,000 layoffs, 10% of workforce)

Earnings accelerated through the pandemic are hiring too many people, leading to this economic downturn we are currently facing, and I am to blame.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our continued success as a company, and to the hard work and sacrifices that have made us successful for our hundreds of thousands of customers. You have built our company for all stakeholders and demonstrated incredible resilience every step of the way.

Unfortunately, as resilience has shown, Salesforce was overhiring. unlucky.

Rating 4/10: Hug me, cry me away.

Jennifer Tejada, PagerDuty (January 24, about 65 layoffs / 7% of employees)

This company is much smaller than the others in this article, but you may never see public company executives operating at this level again (v Rusty Foster).

It’s the pinnacle of the genre. Emphasis here and below.

As a result of considering various measures to strengthen the company in the future, We are further refining our operating model We strive to expand capacity while improving our cost structure, focusing our efforts and increasing our return on investment.

addition improvement We are implementing today:

– Eliminates approximately 7% of roles globally. Most of it is in North America, primarily in Market Development and G&A organizations.

– Reduced discretionary spending.

– Negotiate more favorable commercial agreements with key vendors.

– Streamline your real estate footprint to reflect the reality of a hybrid work model of distributed design. . .

You weren’t fired!you have been Sophisticated.

Elsewhere in the letter:

I see Dutonians as more than employees. They are accomplished, highly capable individuals who practice #BringThemself and drive the innovation and culture behind our products and services to deliver a delightful experience for our customers. Thanks to Dutonian for his contributions to PagerDuty. I expect all of my colleagues to demonstrate the grace, respect and dignity they have earned. As someone who has worked in this industry for decades, I have experienced this before and it is never easy. We also know from experience that while we may not be able to work together in the short term, our relationship and this community will live on well beyond our tenure. PagerDuty.

where do i start??

Dutonian . . . #BringThemsself . What a “community”!

This would not be possible without you, our leadership and our Board of Directors. Thank you for your grit and resilience, your commitment to our customers, and your support of our values ​​and people. At moments like this, I am reminded of what Martin Luther King said. [leader] where not [they] Standing at a comfortable and convenient moment, [they] Standing in a time of challenge and controversy. ” PagerDuty is a leader who stands by its customers, its values, and our vision for a just world that transforms important work so that every team can delight customers and build trust.

Incredible. Not only did she include a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote in a company-wide email about layoffs, but she dropped the word “man” and turned it into a girlboss.

Rating 10/10: No notes. beautiful. we are in awe.

https://www.ft.com/content/ea4347de-6224-478a-964a-b8f5d270dd8e Layoffs for the future | Financial Times

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