The technology sector is not going through its best moment. The energy crisis, inflation, the rise in interest rates, concern about increased control by public authorities and fear of recession have changed the economic forecasts of many companies, some of which have opted for Solutions such as modifying their telecommuting policies, carrying out mass layoffs, or both.
In this sense, some large businessmen such as Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, or Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, decided to send a message to their workers informing them of the workforce cuts, in an exercise in communication transparency. However, the result may not be as desired, as has happened to Jennifer Tejada, CEO of PagerDuty.
company measures. PagerDuty, a multinational company specializing in cloud computing, has recently opted to lay off 7% of its entire workforce -most of these layoffs will take place in North America-, reduce discretionary spending, negotiate more favorable commercial contracts with important clients and rationalize the company’s properties to adapt them to the hybrid work model, according to Jennifer Tejada in a text published on January 24 on the company’s website.
The reasons. In that message, Tejada justified this series of measures by the increase in interest rates, caused by inflation and geopolitical concerns, which has caused uncertainty for the next fiscal year. The CEO of the company further argued that the company was not immune to macroeconomic volatility and that she was unable to predict when the economy would improve.
Little tact. However, Tejada was not correct when choosing certain concepts. For example, she called the measures taken by the company “tweaks”, including the dismissal of 7% of the workforce. Undoubtedly, throwing so many people out on the street is more than just a touch-up.
it was not the best time. In addition, Tejada considered it appropriate to include other types of information in the message, such as the announcement of the promotions of certain workers. Thus, the employees who read the circular, not knowing whether or not they would keep their jobs, knew that Jeremy Kmet would become the Senior Vice President of the Office of Global Operations. With him the company was “poised to succeed”.
contradictions. On the other hand, Tejada reported that the economic results of the last eight quarters had been positive, adding that the firm was expected to end the year well, placing it “in a position of strength that allows us to carry out our strategy regardless of the conditions market and macroeconomics. If things were going so well, it is worth asking why it was decided to lay off 7% of the workforce.
Martin Luther King phrase. However, the most disconcerting point of the text was in the penultimate paragraph. In it, Tejada thanked the workers for their resilience, their commitment to customers and their support “for corporate values and its people.” Next, she quoted a phrase from Martin Luther King, slightly modified by herself, regarding how to cope with setbacks: “the last measure of a leader is not where they are in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they are in moments of challenge and controversy.
The controversy. In this sentence, Tejada replaces the word man, the original term used by King, with leader, in reference to the owner or owner of the company, that is, herself. This gave the letter a histrionic note that generated much controversy and indignation. This is a case very similar to that of Vishal Garg, CEO of Better.com, who fired 15% of his staff in more than debatable ways (ie: by Zoom).
Apologies. On January 27, three days after this statement, Tejada sent a letter apologizing and acknowledging that he should have shown more honesty and seriousness when talking about the dismissals, as well as being more considerate and precise in his tone.