A Memo from CEO of Worse: To be “Better,” 15% of You Gotta Go

Photo from Unsplash.com by Charles Deluvio

Hello everyone,

Thank you for joining me today. It’s that time of year.

And that means it’s time to celebrate the season’s spirit of joy with friends, family and 900 fewer employees. It’s layoff time.

If you are on this call with me, you gotta go. It’s not great news. We have to survive.

By ‘we,’ I mean all of us except all of YOU.

We’ve muted you and HR will be dealing with you. So hold your questions.

First, though, let me say this was ‘hard.’ HR says we must say it. Not DEI, though. We gutted all of our DEI recruiting division. And just to keep it easy and non-confrontational; we waited until they were logged out of their computers before they were notified. Our HR partner is helping ease this transition. I’d have fired them too, btw; yet, they’re outsourced so we can’t. I tried.

Yes, laying you off isn’t easy. Doing it on ZOOM surprisingly was. I can mute you and ignore chat and that makes things a lot better for us already.

If it makes you feel better about getting laid off, I want you to know I cried thinking about it. I am not ashamed to admit it: it was the hardest 10 seconds of my life.

This has been really hard on me. You have no idea how letting you go over the holidays is really all about me. And all the hard decisions I have to make that affect you — the unlucky group here.

I know we had a cash infusion of almost $1 billion and we were a $7 billion unicorn at one time. Yet…it’s gonna be a blood bath out there. The market has changed. And this is my decision and I am trying to be strong here. I am willing to be strong for all of you by laying all of YOU off.

While I want to thank you for your individual contributions to the company, I also want to address the letter I wrote that has been going around — yes, Fortune reported that I shamed you as you were headed out.

Yes, I said it: many of you were stealing from the company. I know many of you were working an average of 2 hours a day. I can’t say exactly how because HR says I can’t.

I both thank you for your contributions AND behind your back I did tell people you were stealing from the company. In my defense, I didn’t think the letter would get out. So…I just didn’t think you’d find out. Awkward!!

I don’t hold it against anyone. I still wish all of you the very the best in your endeavors — as you steal time and payroll from other companies and their customers in the future.

And also I am sniffling as I say this so I’m staying strong for all of us.




Author, speaker, comedian. I turn teams into thriving idea-driven startups who lead in the moment with humor and improvisation. CEO, Keepingithuman.com. MA, MBA

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Kathy Klotz-Guest

Kathy Klotz-Guest

Author, speaker, comedian. I turn teams into thriving idea-driven startups who lead in the moment with humor and improvisation. CEO, Keepingithuman.com. MA, MBA

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