Technical layoffs are possible get worse before they get better – meaning the next few months will be full of companies trying to survive during this prolonged downturn.
At least that’s what an entrepreneur Nolan Church, who helped lead Carta’s layoffs in 2020 as chief people officer, thinks. He estimates that an additional 30,000 to 40,000 tech workers around the world will be laid off in the first quarter of 2023 — a number following the more than 100,000 layoffs so far in 2022, according to the report. fired.fyi data.
Church spoke to me on Equity last week about how his experience in the human operations world, both at Carta and DoorDash, has influenced his view of the best layoff script. He also builds Continuum, an enterprise-backed startup that aims to match executive talent with startups for full-time and fractional opportunities. Unsurprisingly, his vision of a more flexible workforce fits in well with the fact that tens of thousands of workers are now looking for work after this week’s rush alone.
My whole conversation with the church now lives everywhere you find podcasts, so listen up if you haven’t already. Below, we’ve taken four key excerpts from the interview, from canned CEO statements to how he feels about Twitter’s workforce reduction.
Let’s talk about Twitter and ownership. We saw Jack Dorsey tweeting a few days after the firing that he ultimately takes responsibility for Twitter’s hiring. That delay in his response caused a lot of attention, which made me wonder if the bar isn’t being raised when it comes to how employees expect CEOs to take responsibility for large-scale layoffs.
In the past 12 years, the pendulum between who has power between employees and employers has swung dramatically to employees. Now we are in a moment when the pendulum is swinging back. When I predict where the next five to ten years will go, the best talent is always sought in the end. And I think employees will now hold more power as they go along. And they will remember how companies deal with this moment.
On your point about Jack, very candidly, I thought… [his statement] was so weak. He waited to say something; he sent out as two sentences. As someone who follows Jack and has been a fan of Jack for a long time, I thought this was the definition of weak leadership. And I expected more from him. And if I were an employee thinking about working for Jack in the future, I’d think twice.