Tech layoffs can they get worse before they get better, which means the next few months will be filled with companies trying to gear themselves towards survival during this prolonged recession.
At least that’s what entrepreneur nolan church, who helped lead Carta’s 2020 layoffs as chief people officer, thinks. He estimates another 30,000 to 40,000 tech employees worldwide will be laid off in the first quarter of 2023, a number that follows the more than 100,000 layoffs so far in 2022, according to data from layoffs.fyi.
Church chatted with me on Equity last week about how his experience in the world of people trading, both at Carta and DoorDash, has influenced his perspective on the best playbook for layoffs. He is also building Continuum, a venture-backed startup that wants to match executive talent with start-ups for fractional and full-time opportunities. Unsurprisingly, his vision of a more flexible workforce dovetails well with the fact that tens of thousands of employees are now looking for jobs just after this week’s stampede of layoffs.
My full conversation with Church now lives wherever you find podcasts, so listen up if you haven’t already. Below, we’ve distilled four key excerpts from the interview, from the CEO’s canned statements to how he thinks about Twitter’s workforce downsizing.
Let’s talk about Twitter and ownership. We saw Jack Dorsey tweet a few days after the firing that he is ultimately responsible for the fact that Twitter overhired. That delay in his response got a lot of attention, which made me wonder if the bar is being raised when it comes to how employees expect CEOs to take responsibility for large-scale layoffs.
For the past 12 years, the pendulum between who has the power between employees and employers has swung dramatically toward employees. We are now at a point where the pendulum is swinging back. If I predict where the next five to 10 years are going, ultimately the best talent will always be sought after. And I think the employees now will continue to have more power as they go. And they will remember how companies handle this moment.
To your point about Jack, quite frankly, I thought [his statement] it was so weak. She waited to say something; she sent like two sentences. As someone who has followed Jack and been a fan of Jack for a long time, I thought this was the definition of weak leadership. And I would have expected more from him. And if I were an employee thinking of working for Jack in the future, I’d think twice.