Blog: Layoffs through letters: popular CEOs wrote letters to employees


Layoffs through letters: popular CEOs wrote letters to employees

Here is the compilation of letters sent by popular CEOs of celebrated companies to their staff announcing layoffs. Read on to know more..
Layoffs through letters: popular CEOs wrote letters to employees

In the backdrop of numerous layoffs going on in the industry. We look into some of the exemplary letters written by company’s CEO communicating their concerns to employees. These are the letters (emails) written to employees in the times of crisis. 

Kunal Bahal & Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal)

As the round of news takes place that Snapdeal is being acquired by Flipkart –let’s set the ball rolling by taking its example. Off late, in the month of February when Snapdeal was planning job cuts, its founders - Kunal Bahal and Rohit Bansal wrote a lengthy email to its staff confirming layoffs and that they will take a 100 percent salary cut as they lead these reorganizations.

The letter stated - “As part of our overall path to profitability plan that is currently in full swing, we will be reorganizing the company into a lean, focused, and entrepreneurial one. We are combining teams, reducing layers, eliminating non-core projects and strengthening the focus on profitable growth. Sadly, we will also be saying really painful goodbyes to some of our colleagues in this process.”

On 100% pay cut and difficult decision making, the founders of Snapdeal said - “Daunting as it may appear

“Daunting as it may appear in the moment, it is important that we do this now, so that we can continue on our overall mission of building a successful, profitable business that provides incredible opportunities to our customers, sellers and partners. This also means more responsibility for the team members continuing on this journey with us. We believe that every resource of the company should be deployed for driving us towards profitable growth and with this announcement; both Rohit and I are taking a 100 percent salary cut. Many of our leaders have also stepped up proactively and offered to take a significant cut in their compensation, which is an excellent sign of how galvanized the team feels in this shared quest for profitability.”

Jack Dorsey (Twitter)

In 2015, Twitter announced lay off- about 8% of the company's workforce. More than 300 employees were downsized and this news came shortly after when Jack Dorsey was named CEO of the company. Dorsey wrote an e-mail to Twitter employees stating that layoffs were just means to refocus on the company’s efforts. Here is the text of the mail: 


We are moving forward with a restructuring of our workforce so we can put our company on a stronger path to grow. Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight. The team has been working around the clock to produce streamlined roadmap for Twitter, Vine, and Periscope and they are shaping up to be strong. The roadmap is focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact. We launched the first of these experiences last week with Moments, a great beginning, and a bold peek into the future of how people will see what's going on in the world.The roadmap is also a plan to change how we work, and what we need to do that work. Product and Engineering are going to make the most significant structural changes to reflect our plan ahead. We feel strongly that Engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team while remaining the biggest percentage of our workforce. And the rest of the organization will be streamlined in parallel.So we have made an extremely tough decision: we plan to part ways with up to 336 people from across the company. We are doing this with the utmost respect for each and every person. Twitter will go to great lengths to take care of each individual by providing generous exit packages and help finding a new job.

Satya Nadella (Microsoft) 

In 2014, Microsoft announced a massive lay off through a memo written by CEO Satya Nadella. In the letter, he declared that the workforce will be reduced to 18,000 jobs in the next year and 13,000 positions will get affected first and rest will be notified in the next six months. 

Excerpt from the Memo- “The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers. We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months. It’s important to note that while we are eliminating roles in some areas, we are adding roles in certain other strategic areas. My promise to you is that we will go through this process in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible. We will offer severance to all employees impacted by these changes, as well as job transition help in many locations, and everyone can expect to be treated with the respect they deserve for their contributions to this company.”

Deepinder Goyal  (Zomato )

Online restaurant discovery platform, Zomato laid off around 300 staff in 2015. Amidst the turmoil, mass criticism over downsizing CEO Deepinder Goyal sent a mail to the entire staff, where he admits that revenue had fallen for the company and not been able to fulfil the promise made to the investors. 

Text from the mail - Let me paint the real picture for you. We have grown tremendously over the past few months, and our sales team has more than quadrupled in 2015. The hard reality of this growth is that our revenue hasn't kept up with the growth in our sales team. Back in June 2013, the sales team in Delhi made enough money to pay for the salaries of the entire India team. Nowadays, any city in any country paying for salaries of that country is a distant reality. The fact of the matter is that our sales team is not firing on all cylinders. We are far behind the numbers that we promised our investors for this financial year (year ending March 2016) -- our investors have said that so far, we have always delivered what we have promised. We are close to not living up to that for the first time in the last 5 years.”

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Topics: Leadership, C-Suite

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