r/technology Feb 06 '23 Gold 3 All-Seeing Upvote 3 Take My Energy 2 Wholesome Seal of Approval 1 Stonks Rising 1 I'll Drink to That 1 Shocked 1 Doot 🎵 Doot 1 Made Me Smile 1

Silicon Valley needs to stop laying off workers and start firing CEOs Site Altered Title

https://businessinsider.com/fire-blame-ceo-tech-employee-layoffs-google-facebook-salesforce-amazon-2023-2
60.5k Upvotes

2.1k comments sorted by

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u/AmaResNovae Feb 06 '23 All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy Snek I'll Drink to That

Seeing such a title from a businessinsider article was so unexpected that I had to read it. And it was actually interesting. Is there a word to describe the opposite of clickbait?

But while Pichai, who made $280 million in compensation in 2019, said he took "full responsibility for the decisions that led us here," he failed to elucidate those choices. He didn't mention that during his time at the helm Google has been hit with billions of dollars' worth of antitrust fines, been left in the dust by OpenAI's ChatGPT despite "pivoting the company to be AI-first," and seen its core search product get steadily worse. 

Gotta love how "taking full responsibility" means "I fucked up so I'm gonna have to fire thousands of people to make sure that I can still get my ridiculously high salary despite my bad business decisions that lead us here".

In the modern corporate world, like in most other institutions around the globe, the ones at the top just keep making mistakes without facing any consequences. And for some reason, that became the "new normal."

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u/mejelic Feb 06 '23

My company just laid off some people and the CEO used the line of, "I take full responsibility."

It was everything I could do not to ask the question of, "Then how is this personally and financially affecting you?" The main reason I didn't is because I expected to get the answer of, "Well just like all of you, I won't get a full bonus this year." Or some BS like that.

Fucker needs to take a compensation cut and truly take responsibility.

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u/WayeeCool Feb 06 '23

I think of how surprising it was that Apple out of all the silicon valley giants didn't announce mass layoffs but instead announced they were halving the compensation of top executives. How the fk was that being announced the outlier and why the fk is the board of Apple the only ones to go this direction?

These days board of directors that represent shareholders reward top executives and allow them to offload the consequences of said executives underperforming onto the regular employees when they should be first and foremost punishing the executives who made the bad decisions. I have to wonder if this is due to the US corporate structure often being different from the rest of the world by making the CEO and chairman of the board into the same position with the power of Executive-Chairman. This Executive-Chairman arrangement is especially prevalent in Silicon Valley. It seems to create a perverse conflict of interest where due to the most powerful members of the board and c-suite being the same individuals, a firm loses the ability to properly hold its c-suite accountable.

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u/Eladiun Feb 06 '23

Everything is geared to short term stock market thinking. Stock price is a terrible metric to run a company.

The CEO of Nintendo once said lay off are a short term solution that create bigger log term problems and often fail to make any meaningful difference.

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u/BroBroMate Feb 06 '23

Look at all the chaos in air travel these days because all the airports and airlines laid off staff during Covid and are now struggling to fill those roles again, and even when they do, they've lost a lot of experience.

If they'd chosen some loyalty to their staff over reducing costs, this wouldn't have happened, but shareholder value!

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u/Eladiun Feb 06 '23

All while executing stock buy backs with the money handed to them.

100%

Capitalism is a risk reward system and we have effectively eliminated the risk factor through corporate welfare.

The consolidation also has removed all competition.

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u/MaximumRecursion Feb 06 '23

Nintendo has always had great management IMO. You can dislike some of their decisions, like to never lower prices of their games, but it works. And there games are almost always high quality, not rushed out cookie cutters like some other studios.

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u/That_One_Pancake Feb 06 '23 Take My Power

When the Wii U flopped Iwata cut his pay in half and other executives also had pay slashed. Should be the standard

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u/Joessandwich Feb 06 '23

And then a few years later they delivered arguably one of their best consoles to date, and I believe the most successful one. Every business student should study that case.

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u/gramathy Feb 06 '23

If you look at it, the Wii U was a prototype Switch. It suffered from marketing failure, but ultimately proved the concept of handheld AAA gaming worked, so while it didn't make money on its own, it still accomplished at least some of its goals and put them on the right path, and management clearly recognized that and didn't scrap the Switch when the Wii U failed.

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u/bitchigottadesktop Feb 06 '23

I never put that together great point

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u/Joessandwich Feb 06 '23

Oh definitely. They went from only handheld 3DS to the hybrid Wii U which unfortunately was not successful, but clearly believed in the core idea and found a way to deliver it correctly in the Switch.

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u/Sabotage00 Feb 06 '23

It's almost like learning from mistakes works

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u/TheSpoonyCroy Feb 06 '23

I mean really? I think the switch was absolutely helped because of the flop of the Wii U. Like holy shit most of all of the year 1 titles for the switch were just Wii U games that were repurposed. Seriously the mario kart everyone is playing is the mario kart that came with the Wii U, it is literally almost a decade old game now.

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u/Joessandwich Feb 06 '23

Yeah, and? They learned from the flop of the Wii U and made smart decisions to deliver a successful product. Just because they repurposed titles doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful or a good business choice… and they did it without laying off people (I think).

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u/proudbakunkinman Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

In general, more responsibility is placed on those at the top in Japanese companies compared to those in the US and even their conservative party tries to make sure the CEO pay does not get way out of whack with worker salaries, they also have a law that pushes companies to hire more staff. Not sure the details but it's to ensure their unemployment rate remains low and workers are not being pushed to the limit to do more than they can handle.

On the other hand, they still have that awful tradition of staying at work for as long as possible to not stand out in a bad way for leaving earlier than others. It's often not due to them being overworked but about appearances.

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u/SuperMrMonocle Feb 06 '23

This is very true. Nintendo definitely has some anti-consumer practices, and they're occasionally a little backwards, but they are 100% consistently focused on ensuring that they release the utmost quality product they can. The Nintendo seal of approval has been earned and maintained since the dawn of gaming.

I would happily accept AAA titles never going on sale if it meant they had the development time and quality of most in-house Nintendo titles. I'd gladly pay $70 once a year for a quality game than $30 four times a year for a handful of cookie cutter AAA titles from other developers.

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u/ButtholeCandies Feb 06 '23

Nintendo games are some of the few I get near infinite replay value from. The consistent high prices reflect that fact.

Mario Kart and Smash Bros alone are games that get played through the lifespan of the product each era. Not a lot of consoles have that

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u/Outlulz Feb 06 '23

When you know you’ll never get more than ~30% off a first party Nintendo title it also trains consumers to not worry about price drops when considering when to buy a game. Opposed to publishers like Square or Ubisoft where you know if you wait six weeks you can get the game for like half price.

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u/zgriffiin Feb 06 '23 All-Seeing Upvote

First part of this, managing companies quarter by quarter the behest of Wall Street is fundamental to this kind of behavior. There is little long-term strategic thinking, at least that lasts for a few quarters before the shareholders revolt and tell the company to gain revenue and increase margin. Private companies are more appealing employers for this reason, to me at least.

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u/-UltraAverageJoe- Feb 06 '23

When mass layoffs happen, the remaining employees do what they need to do to keep their jobs, not what it takes to grow the company. Unfortunately these two things are not often aligned and you’re left with a bunch of brown-nosing sycophants running things.

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u/anteris Feb 06 '23 All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy

If that bothers you, avoid looking at the incestuous nature with C-suites sitting on boards of other companies in one seemingly endless circle jerk.

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u/yummyyummybrains Feb 06 '23

Salesforce laid off 8000 people in Jan 2023. Needed to figure out how to get $2-5B off the balance sheets.

In 2021, they bought Slack for $27B because... The CEO of Slack is good friends with Marc Benioff.

Oh, and they also did $2B of stock buybacks in Q4 2022.

Gave em the same "we hired for a different economic reality" and "I take full responsibility" song and dance.

The money was there all along -- just not for the "Ohana".

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u/cegras Feb 06 '23

As Matt Levine said in his newsletter:

Around here I often quote the most important thing I learned at Goldman, John Whitehead’s commandment to relationship bankers that “Important people like to deal with important people. Are you one?” Important people like to play golf with important people at important golf clubs.[5]

(Money Stuff, Bloomberg, Jan 17 issue I believe)

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u/yummyyummybrains Feb 06 '23

"It's a big club, and you ain't in it."

-- George Carlin

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u/jollyreaper2112 Feb 06 '23

It's good to know how to identify important people. These are the ones we need to gather together and brick up in a vault Cask of Amontillado-style.

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u/ImbambiBitch Feb 06 '23

When my company was facing hardship our CEO/Founder cut his pay from a % of profit (we are privately owned) to 75k a year and reduced all VP salaries down to a max of $150k (many where making 300k+)

We laid no one off

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u/Hexboy3 Feb 06 '23

Thats how you would obtain a lot of loyalty from me.

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u/WayneKrane Feb 06 '23

Yup, I had a particularly good boss who would come down in the trenches with us when we got behind. She’d even stay late so we could go home on time and she made us go home while she finished everything up. I’d have gone into battle for her, she was by far the best boss I have ever had. When she learned the company couldn’t give us raise she gave up her bonus and raise and gave it to us. Super rare to find that

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u/Hexboy3 Feb 06 '23

Yeah im currently really blessed to have a great boss. Theyre few and far between.

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u/TryingToBeUnabrasive Feb 06 '23

Apple is like the only FAANG company that actually has their shit together.

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u/Youvebeeneloned Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

Because Apple learned their lesson 3 decades ago when they nearly died.

Its why they are very cautious about introducing new things until they are ready. Jobs basically returned to 2 competing product lines that had the same machines (Performa and LC), A handheld division that while revolutionary, was repeatedly in the red (Newton), and licensing themselves out to clone makers who repeatedly undercut them price wise, but whose quality went from on par to completely questionable.

Jobs came in and basically laid off and reconfigured the entire company, which is still one of the biggest layoffs Apple ever had. Within a year and a half the company went from months away from shutting down to completely in the green... and within 3 was outperforming Dell (this after Michael Dell infamous wrote an open letter to Apple upon Jobs return that they should close up shop and give back all the investors money... Jobs open email in response when they beat Dell is legendary.)

A lot could be said that Apple is too cautious, and not innovative enough... and those arguments may be right.

But Apple is also not laying off tons of employees and is in no danger of their profits being eaten up by economic downturn. So for investors... Apple is literally the only Tech company right now who is a safe bet even with the markets going crazy.

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u/007meow Feb 06 '23

Apple DIDN’T undergo a mass hiring spree like other tech companies, so they’re not overstaffed.

Look at Google’s headcount from 2019 to now - a bigly number of people were added in 2021/2022 and these layoffs don’t even come close to touching the total number hired.

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u/quick_escalator Feb 06 '23

I take full responsibility.

CEO speak for "I'm literally not taking any responsibility at all. Fuck you guys."

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u/DrAstralis Feb 06 '23

Gotta love how "taking full responsibility" means "I fucked up so I'm gonna have to fire thousands of people

but like... they're totally bummed about it and it 'weighs heavily' on them. They'll have to take time to meditate on it so they're taking a 4 month vacation in their 8th home.

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u/sweetpotatokumquat Feb 06 '23

Hey man, this is more serious than that. It almost harshed his buzz during his 10:30am guided yoga session.

Really took the shine off the $125,000 he earned during that session, and that's just sapping the joy out of life.

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u/insanetwit Feb 06 '23

Clicking "send" on that layoff e-mail was the hardest thing he ever did!

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u/Underscore_Guru Feb 06 '23

You know he didn’t click that send button. He asked his admin to do that after he did a quick scan of the text.

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u/Self_Reddicated Feb 06 '23

Yeah, you're probably right. Except he probably didn't even really have a say in the text anyway, as it was drafted by an entire team of HR, legal, and PR people.

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u/Plothunter Feb 06 '23

Ah, ah. I'm going you need you to fire a few thousand employees. ... So, if you could get right on that, that would be great.

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u/Frawtarius Feb 06 '23

And after you're done sending those layoff e-mails, fire yourself as well. Thanks, uhh...Mark, was it? I think it was Matt. Pretty sure it was Mitch?

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u/[deleted] Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 10 '23

[deleted]

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u/Stephonovich Feb 06 '23

Asking ChatGPT to draft it first was the hardest thing. You know, since he let Microsoft get them.

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u/highlyredundantagain Feb 06 '23 Bravo!

Haha good one. "Chatgpt, write me a termination notice that makes it sound as if I feel bad but I really don't "

Here are the results:

Dear [Employee],

I am writing to inform you that your employment with [Company] will be terminated effective [Date]. This decision has been made after careful consideration and was not taken lightly.

I understand that this news may come as a surprise to you and I want to assure you that it has nothing to do with your personal performance. The company is simply going through a restructuring process and unfortunately, your position has been affected.

I want to express my sincere gratitude for the contributions you have made during your time here. Your hard work and dedication to the team will not be forgotten.

Please note that [Company] will provide support to assist with your transition, including [outline any support provided, such as severance pay, reference letters, etc.].

I wish you all the best for your future endeavors.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

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u/Stephonovich Feb 06 '23

Oh man, that made me remember getting it to write phone transcripts where a utility is shutting the power off to senior citizens in winter. You can make ChatGPT get really snarky and cruel, but at the end of every response it tries to insert a vague happy note, which just makes it worse.

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u/EmmyNoetherRing Feb 06 '23

The fact that this is actually happening in some cases, people are actually using chatgpt to write the termination notices of people fired due to chatgpt, would’ve made a great dystopian sci-fi story in the 70’s. The sort of thing you use to teach high school students how to identify irony.

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u/SGTX12 Feb 06 '23

That good and all, but I'm going to need you to cut that part about assistance in transitioning or whatever. If we don't have the money to keep these people on, we sure as hell don't have the money to support them if they're getting the boot.

PS. Tell the boys in legal we're having a party on my super yacht on Monday with all the money this move is gonna save us.

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u/DJStrongArm Feb 06 '23

I miss the CEO from last year or the year before who posted the crying picture after laying off the whole company

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u/NFLinPDX Feb 06 '23

The backlash he got was great.

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u/eineins Feb 06 '23

With his salary that would be less than a 1 minute session.

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u/sweetpotatokumquat Feb 06 '23

Nah that's about his hourly take.

260 working days in a year, thereabouts, so his $280 million a year is a little over a million per working day. 8 hours in a working day (let's be generous and assuming he's clocking in a 9 to 5) works out to (a little over) $125,000 per hour ($134,615 if we're being super pedantic). So he's making a cool $2k per minute.

Super fun, Glassdoor estimates the median developer salary at Google as $200k per year, he's earning more than that every 2 days. What amazing value he must be bringing! /s

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u/redheadartgirl Feb 06 '23

his $280 million a year is a little over a million per working day.

In contrast, someone working full-time at the federal minimum wage would earn just $754,000 over their entire 50-year working career

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u/RevLoveJoy Feb 06 '23

There are more like 200 working days a year, that number is 1.4 m per day, 175k an hour. And let's be real, no CEO in America works full time.

If being a CEO were hard then how come Elon can do it for 3 companies at once?

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u/Prophet_Tehenhauin Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

Uh, because, clearly, he’s a part of the Evolved-Human-Caste. See, these people are our betters, and thus are capable of shouldering the responsibility of commanding us to work long hours for low pay. They are, of course, rewarded for this Elevated Intelligence they posses with rewards to equal their lack of sacrifice.

See, they are bravely consuming our limited resources to build a better future for themselves, as they deserve to. As they possess the Science Right of Billionaires to rule over us lesser beings.

We should just be thankful that when they kick us out of our homes because we don’t contribute enough to their godly palaces, they will have us beaten for daring to sleep on “public” streets.

Like the song says afterall

This land is their land, this land isn’t our land,

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u/eineins Feb 06 '23

You are correct. Assumed "B"illion instead of a measly "M"illion.

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u/sweetpotatokumquat Feb 06 '23

No worries, it's tricky keeping things straight when we're starting to talk millions. Kinda why this dude's salary is ludicrous in the first place.

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u/Deskopotamus Feb 06 '23

They have to pay that to attract top talent! How can we expect the top CEOs in the world to even get out of bed for less than $100 Million a year!

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u/CopeHarders Feb 06 '23

They’ll post a LinkedIn where they cry about having to make the hard decision to layoff thousands of people because they’re “a family”.

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u/[deleted] Feb 06 '23

Why should King tighten his belt in time of famine when he can execute some peasants?

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u/AmaResNovae Feb 06 '23

Well, too many starving peasants can become a problem for kings, historically speaking...

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u/cyberslick188 Feb 06 '23

Not anymore.

These days the peasants are too busy attacking each other for the privilege of being the next executed, or are too preoccupied bragging on social media how they work 70 hours a week to starve and the peasants only working 60 hours a week to starve should stop complaining and enjoy the good life.

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u/FlashbackJon Feb 06 '23

Don't forget that the king doesn't get executed, he drafts a new army that'll bankrupt the kingdom in five years, then in two years, loads up a cart full of gold from the treasury and becomes king two kingdoms over for even more money...

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u/surprisedropbears Feb 06 '23

Execute enough and you can feed the others with their corpse-starch

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u/jeffyoulose Feb 06 '23

Now you are thinking like the Fremen.

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u/Amon7777 Feb 06 '23

Easy there Inquisitor

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u/level5goosewarning Feb 06 '23

At the Salesforce All Hands Call at the start of Jan when they announced 10% were being laid off, Benioff really said we should feel bad for Parker Harris, who "had a bad birthday because of the layoffs."

Eat the goddamn rich.

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u/tbird83ii Feb 06 '23

You are not a person to your company. You are a number. The only "people" are at the top. Therefore, a bunch of numbers happened on his birthday, and it looked like losses, so he was sad.

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u/TheRealBigLou Feb 06 '23

Yeah, dude. This is something I'm really starting to see at my own employer. 5 years ago it was great. Top to bottom everyone was respected and it felt like that "family" that people here always shit on. But seriously--it totally was that and the only way you were let go is if you did something egregious. Top management would stick their necks out for the lowliest employee.

That all changed when they got bought out by a private equity firm. They installed a new CEO (bypassing who EVERYONE in the company wanted and expected to replace the retiring CEO). They started to become a lot more vertically structured with higher high-ups and larger gaps to the bottom. Policies changed that made things feel more corporate and sterile. I now have absolutely no "family" feeling towards the company. It's a job, period.

And that really sucks. I was PASSIONATE about my company. I evangelized working for them. At the time I wasn't even in management but I could walk into the CEO's office, tell him something on my mind, and would likely see something come from it. I had great autonomy, was highly trusted and respected, and felt like unless I just stopped working altogether, my employment was secure for as long as I wanted to stay with them. And originally my thought was retirement.

But again, that's not the case anymore. I'm not actively seeking another job and the work is still rewarding, but I know I'm no longer thought of as a part of the company. I'm just a number that can and will be replaced if I get out of line.

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u/dungone Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

Private equity always turns out this way. It's basically rich people who are barely competent enough to buy a McDonald's franchise and follow the step by step instructions for how to run it. They're buying up other businesses because they're too clueless about starting their own. Their entire plan is to do a leveraged buyout - basically make the company they bought responsible for paying back the loans they took out to buy it. And in the meantime they're going to gut everything to cut costs and have it run on fumes while they extract all the cash they can possibly get out of it. Then they abandon it once there's nothing left and move on to the next victim. Leveraged buyouts should be 100% illegal, which would turn private equity into the fastest way to get rich idiots to part with their money.

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u/tbird83ii Feb 06 '23

I feel like this has been the experience at a lot of places. Your company could 100% be my company. We got bought by another firm who was backed by VC money. It took about a year, but all of the sudden these large changes happened that killed the company culture. Some of the best employees left or were let go, and they kept some of the worst people because they had high-ish margins, at least on the front end.

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u/OnePeeledBanana Feb 06 '23

Absolute killer phrasing

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u/DeeJayGeezus Feb 06 '23

You are a number.

People are going to take this as “you are just your ID number”, and while that’s bad, the actual truth is you aren’t even an ID number; you’re just an expense in a spreadsheet waiting to be reduced.

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u/AmaResNovae Feb 06 '23

Eat the goddamn rich.

I understand the spirit, but that's probably how you end up catching cocaine flavoured prions...

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u/ghandi3737 Feb 06 '23

Don't eat the brain or other nervous system parts and you should be okay.

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u/AmaResNovae Feb 06 '23

Still, probably safer as fertiliser than as food. CEOs, that's what plants crave... Or something like that.

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u/Andyinater Feb 06 '23

They had extra-rights!

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u/ghandi3737 Feb 06 '23

So we evened it out with some extra lefts.

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u/GangreneMachine Feb 06 '23

Benioff is a raging douchebag

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u/RockAndStone69 Feb 06 '23

Looks like Silicon Valley HBO TV Series was not exaggerating.

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u/fingletingle Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

It never was, and there were things the writers experienced in real life that are far stranger than what went into the show.

During one visit to Google’s headquarters, in Mountain View, about six writers sat in a conference room with Astro Teller, the head of GoogleX, who wore a midi ring and kept his long hair in a ponytail. “Most of our research meetings are fun, but this one was uncomfortable,” Kemper told me. GoogleX is the company’s “moonshot factory,” devoted to projects, such as self-driving cars, that are difficult to build but might have monumental impact. Hooli, a multibillion-dollar company on “Silicon Valley,” bears a singular resemblance to Google. (The Google founder Larry Page, in Fortune: “We’d like to have a bigger impact on the world by doing more things.” Hooli’s C.E.O., in season two: “I don’t want to live in a world where someone makes the world a better place better than we do.”) The previous season, Hooli had launched HooliXYZ, its own “moonshot factory,” whose experiments were slapstick absurdities: monkeys who use bionic arms to masturbate; powerful cannons for launching potatoes across a room. “He claimed he hadn’t seen the show, and then he referred many times to specific things that had happened on the show,” Kemper said. “His message was, ‘We don’t do stupid things here. We do things that actually are going to change the world, whether you choose to make fun of that or not.’ ” (Teller could not be reached for comment.)

Teller ended the meeting by standing up in a huff, but his attempt at a dramatic exit was marred by the fact that he was wearing Rollerblades. He wobbled to the door in silence. “Then there was this awkward moment of him fumbling with his I.D. badge, trying to get the door to open,” Kemper said. “It felt like it lasted an hour. We were all trying not to laugh. Even while it was happening, I knew we were all thinking the same thing: Can we use this?” In the end, the joke was deemed “too hacky to use on the show.”

Source: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/how-silicon-valley-nails-silicon-valley

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u/EntertainerOrk Feb 06 '23

The thing about shows and movies is that they have a limit to how strange or even wrong and stupid something can be. It has to be "realistic" and also actually interesting and funny. Like even if it's absurd, it has to be believable, at least in the context of the show (and try as they might, Silicon Valley is not just batshit insane like Monty Python or I guess even Rick and Morty, but takes place in our world, just a bit exaggerated). In our reality though, sure we have general human decency rules, but there's nothing in reality holding back the story from becoming too outrageous and unrealistic, or stupid, or boring etc. People make all sorts of dumb decisions all the time, and what we see is always just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway this is why reality is probably stranger than the show Silicon Valley, but more in a gross and sad way.

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u/hardolaf Feb 06 '23

It's not just movies, books have to do it too. Wolf of Wall Street was originally intended by the author to be an accurate but dramatized retelling of crazy things that happened at shady wall street firms but amalgamated into a single entity until they realized that reality was just too crazy to put into the book so they had to tone down and remove many of the crazy antics that happened. Then when they went to make a movie about it, the writers thought no one would believe what was in the book (all based on real events mind you), so they toned it down even more. Even then when it came out, reviewers and audience members thought that that level of crazy could never have happened.

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u/amadmongoose Feb 06 '23

Also fun story, some of the funding for the film came from laundered money that was embezzeled from an investment fund. Can't make this up.

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u/fps916 Feb 06 '23

I mean a book written by a convicted fraudster. Grains of salt abound

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u/hardolaf Feb 06 '23

I've met people who worked in some of those firms (including one of the whistleblowers), they had much crazier stories to tell than what made it into the book. And there's absolutely crazy events documented in court records too that never made it into the book.

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u/Now__Hiring Feb 06 '23

To your point, Trump really took the wind out of the sails of House of Cards as well as the absurdity of his own parody on SNL

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u/HotFluffyDiarrhea Feb 06 '23

Teller ended the meeting by standing up in a huff, but his attempt at a dramatic exit was marred by the fact that he was wearing Rollerblades. He wobbled to the door in silence. “Then there was this awkward moment of him fumbling with his I.D. badge, trying to get the door to open,” Kemper said. “It felt like it lasted an hour. We were all trying not to laugh. Even while it was happening, I knew we were all thinking the same thing: Can we use this?” In the end, the joke was deemed “too hacky to use on the show.”

This is amazing. He is a living caricature of The Plague from Hackers, whose real life persona was deemed too slapstick for a parody show.

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u/cumquistador6969 Feb 06 '23

Reminds me of when I was taking the mandatory ethics class for my CS degree and the head of the department came in to teach one week.

I'm paraphrasing, but he basically just did a 2-3 minute schpeel about how ethics is for nerds just don't break the law or YOU will be going to prison not the CEO.

Then pivoted to talking smack about google.

Mainly told us this short story in a very roundabout manner about how he worked with a lot of major companies involved with organizing mmmm, I forget, something about how the internet is setup and regulated.

And how they all got together and were cooperating to set standards for this and that.

and google was invited to participate, but didn't show up at first.

Then near the end of this meeting or conference or whatever (hey this was like 6 years ago and my memory is shit), a guy from google walks in multiple hours late, and goes "this is the standard we've come up with for everyone to use," dumps a document on the table, and leaves.

That's the standard in use today.

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u/MisterFatt Feb 06 '23

My fiancé was working at a startup at the time the show was airing and she couldn’t watch because it was so on the nose. Her company was selling almost the exact same product as Hooli and piped piper, and making the exact same business moves - moving into a trendy new office with fake “fun” environment etc.

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u/ianepperson Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

I’ve worked in tech for over 20 years and worked for more than one Silicon Valley company. I even met one of the show writers once.

I watched two episodes and couldn’t watch much more. It’s just too real.

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u/knirefnel Feb 06 '23

I think I learned what "full responsibility" meant as a teenager when Donald Rumsfeld announced that he took full responsibility for the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.

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u/Esc_ape_artist Feb 06 '23

“Full responsibility” = “full paycheck and bonuses”

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u/EntertainerOrk Feb 06 '23

280 freaking million dollars for a year as CEO, that's insane. By any metric in the world that is insane and malicious.

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u/FeelsGoodMan2 Feb 06 '23

I was able to buy a home using savings + a salary a shade over 100K. Imagine now you take that 280 million annually and disperse that, it's thousands of people being able to buy homes or something similar. I understand it's not REALLY how that works, but consider how many homes are actually in your square mile radius, how many people could change their lives only it's getting funneled to one singular asshole.

The numbers are staggering when you start thinking about cutting CEO compensations into median or 'good' level salaries and how many people it is.

Also I understand these employees are getting paid very well compared to standard jobs but I mean it more as a thought experiment more than anything.

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u/Pixel871 Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

Yea. It's honestly stupid levels of money.

$280,000,000 a year is about $767,123.29 a day, $31,963.47 an hour, $532.72 a minute or $8.88 a second.

Edit: as others have pointed out, I should note this is every second not work hours. Honestly I don't respect these sort of CEOs to even say they actually work. And just wanted to show the average amount they earn at any moment.

For work hours, assuming 40 hour work weeks, 138,461.54 an hour, 2,307.69 a minute, or 38.46 a second.

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u/FeelsGoodMan2 Feb 06 '23

I think you painted it even better than I did. That's nutty.

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u/MeusRex Feb 06 '23

I want to hear him argue how his contributions are worth as much as the contributions of 2000-4000 employees on the ground floor.

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u/FeelsGoodMan2 Feb 06 '23

Wouldn't that be a fun experiment? Make him disappear for a month. Then make them disappear for a month. See what happens.

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u/MeusRex Feb 06 '23

We already know, the former is a trip to epstein's pedo island, the later is commonly referred to as a strike, and it is apparently so bad for the economy that sometimes the government has to step in and enforce involuntary labor...

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u/jabbadarth Feb 06 '23

Another way to say this is that they "earn" more every second than the federal minimum wage for an hour of pay. Or they "earn" more in a minute than a minimum wage worker earns in a week or they "earn" more in an hour than a minimum wage worker earns in a year.

Now if we could go sit in this CEOs office I bet there are a lot of seconds and plenty of minutes and likely even a few hours where they are doing absolutely nothing and yet during those wasted seconds, minutes and hours they still make more than someone busting their ass 40+ hours a week.

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u/Prodigy195 Feb 06 '23

What's even more wild is that $280M is still nothing compared to a billionaire. Then you have to remember there are people worth dozens of billions and some worth over a hundred billion.

It's obscene man. Once you're at a certain level of wealth it's legit just numbers on a screen going up. Your life doesn't materially change much at numbers that large.

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u/FeelsGoodMan2 Feb 06 '23

And you know what's fucked up even more is, I used 100K as a salary cutoff in my little hypothetical, and thats a very good salary for most people. You can almost 1.7x the number if you just want to have people at median salaries. If you lined up people at the poverty level and had them walk into a building one by one dispersing out that 280M into a US median salary (life changing for them for sure), I bet you'd get to five, six, seven thousand people before the pool ran out. It would be shocking how many people you'd see walk by.

The whole thing is fucked.

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u/ZombieFrenchKisser Feb 06 '23

I would love Pichai to be replaced. Maybe then new products at Google would actually survive longer than 12 months.

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u/Parable4 Feb 06 '23

Google would need to change it's promotion/bonus structure. You move up by launching products, not by maintaining them. Once the product has launched you usually see leads of the project move on because they got what they wanted and now are working on their next product launch

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u/jjuu26 Feb 06 '23

Now that you mentioned it I can't remember any new big think Google launched in recent years. They used to make innovative promising projects all the time but nowadays it seems none make it even far enough to get noticed by mainstream news.

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u/q0mb9l236oxkae43ih6p Feb 06 '23

Stadia. Rolled out and cancelled all within 3yrs

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u/JahoclaveS Feb 06 '23

Likely because Google launching something new just isn’t interesting when everybody knows it’s going straight to abandonware even if it was good.

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u/StringerBel-Air Feb 06 '23

Can we start with search just going back to being good?

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u/Youvebeeneloned Feb 06 '23

There is literally a episode of Silicon Valley where Gavin Belson does EXACTLY this. Gives a whole I fucked up so as a result we are firing the Nucleus team.

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u/Epicfro Feb 06 '23

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought of Gavin.

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u/scorpion_tail Feb 06 '23

“Journalism,” is the word to describe the opposite of clickbait.

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u/tyranicalteabagger Feb 06 '23

You've just described how every major corporation works. I think the fact that there were no consequences for outright fraud during the 2007,8,9 financial crisis, that almost put the world into new great depression, really showed everyone, especially ceo's that there are 0 consequences if you're rich enough. So just do whatever TF you want and don't worry about little things like screwing everyone, including your own employees.

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u/[deleted] Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 13 '23

[deleted]

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u/MonstersGrin Feb 06 '23

"Some of you may die, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make."

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u/Silicon_Knight Feb 06 '23

True but that’s an issue for the board who are probably not happy either. We’ll see if he does get fired. Disney ousted their CEO pretty quick.

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u/Rebyll Feb 06 '23

It's super fucked when NFL head coaches get fired more often than megacorp executives.

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u/giveitupforamallu Feb 06 '23 Narwhal Salute

"Similarly, the chipmaker Intel's CEO took a 25% pay cut and reduced the salaries of his executive team by 15% to avoid broad layoffs. "....... This is inaccurate. Yes Intel's CEO took a (base)pay cut, but he also slashed a vast majority of employees base pay by at least 5-15%( these are engineers in grade 7 and above...sort of seniors). Also, he also cut company 401k contributions by half, cut multiple bonuses for employees and also froze any merit increase as well as any peer-peer recognition. Net reduction of an avg employees pay ~ 15%. Net reduction of the CEO pay ~ <1%. (Source: I work there)

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u/Other_Mike Feb 06 '23

Came here looking for the kerfuffle we learned of last week. I'm nowhere near grade 7, but the recognitions had always been helpful and I was already frustrated that raises were delayed by a quarter. I was in the running for a grade promotion but who knows now. My module is understaffed and the stress of all this is just going to make things worse for us.

I can't even sell off the company stock I own because the price has been so shitty since my shares started vesting.

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u/whatissevenbysix Feb 06 '23

My SO is an Intel employee, just over 4+ years. Between 5% base pay cut, zero bonuses for the year, and 401k match reduction, she's going to lose about 20-25k before tax this year.

And when asked, after this period when things return to normal, if they're going to get those cuts and benefits back before any further increments, all they got was some bullshit long winded reply.

Fuck the CEO and the management.

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u/MrMichaelJames Feb 06 '23

No ICs should face pay cuts in order to avoid layoffs. No middle managers should face pay cuts in order to avoid layoffs. They should stop paying board members from other companies. They should cut bonus' from the executive team.

We all know these companies are still making a lot of money, but since all of it is controlled by what the market thinks and expects it leads to cuts.

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u/Patejl Feb 06 '23

According to the 2021 data, the 25% base salary cut actually results in overal 0.15% of all of the income he receives.

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u/rahvin2015 Feb 06 '23

It's interesting to work on a team that says "we need you to work nights and weekends for months on end because of our planning issues. Also, we will not be compensating you financially. In fact we're giving you a nice big pay cut." I'm sure that's what the platform engineers are all hearing.

Investors and management dont dig companies out of hard times. The workers do. Cutting compensation and benefits risks losing those talented people who do the actual work. They'll go elsewhere, and Intel will lose valuable skills and knowledge. The market isnt great right now, but it's also not dead. Lots of places hiring tech workers.

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u/BushDidN0thingWr0ng Feb 06 '23

You folks should contact CODE-CWA to restore the status quo. They'll be at the GDC this year if you want to talk to worker-organizers in the tech industry about it

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u/Confident_Mud_702 Feb 06 '23

More of thought pieces like this, please. If a company performs poorly… it should be the leaders that fall. Not the revenue generating/protecting employees.

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u/TurtleHeadPrairieDog Feb 06 '23

Nintendo deservedly gets a lot of criticism for anticonsumer business practices, but one thing I respect is when the WiiU failed, the CEO took a paycut and responsibility. Don't see that very often, if ever, from CEOs of big companies

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u/SketchtheHunter Feb 06 '23

We need more CEOs like Iwata, especially now that Iwata is gone...

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u/TurtleHeadPrairieDog Feb 06 '23

Agreed. It would also be nice to see CEOs apologize to customers as well. Every time a CEO apologizes they always direct it to their shareholders and not the people who actually consume the product. Like I remember when Toyota had to recall the Prius or something they wrote an apology to their shareholders and not the people who they put in danger by selling them cars with broken brakes.

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u/[deleted] Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 28 '23

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/dmazzoni Feb 06 '23

Based on my LinkedIn feed they laid off thousands of people who had been there 10+ years.

I'm sure they saved money letting go of people with high salaries, but letting go of so many experienced people so suddenly is a huge loss of knowledge that will take years to replace. It doesn't seem worth it.

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u/TheLostHippos Feb 06 '23

Those individuals are also prime candidates to become their competition down the line.

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u/kernelPanicked Feb 06 '23

My read on that is that the layoffs were structural and tenure was not taken into account. A lot of people incorrectly assume that 10+ year Googlers all must be making fat checks -- not so. In fact, over the last few years attrition of tenured employees was a growing concern among Googlers, and the reason was simple. The company was not giving raises in comp to aid retention. As with most Pichai actions, that is normal corporate behavior, they know people get families and get risk averse and stay for stability, plus they get "locked in" to Google's proprietary internal tools. So they pay enough to motivate that person to stay, but no more (at least L7 or less). At Google, as with everywhere else, getting re-marked to market every 2-4 years is the way to maximize comp.

The only thing tenured employees might have over newer hires is old stock that was granted at a fraction of today's price. Maybe, if they didn't sell. A lot of them did.

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u/Bob_Sconce Feb 06 '23

Except that frequently all those people were the CEO's poor decision. If a CEO says "I'm going to hire 1000 people to do X," and X turns out to be a crappy idea, then he has 1,000 extra people. Sure, some of them can shift into other jobs at the same company. But, realistically, stopping X means firing most of them.

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u/MonsieurGideon Feb 06 '23

If that's the case then tnhr CEO should still be fired for making such poor decisions that led to a failed project and all the wasted time and money the company could have spent on something else.

But in your scenario it's just the 1,000 employees who get fired and the CEO gets a bonus for cutting costs.

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u/academomancer Feb 06 '23

Totally agree. Started reading LinkedIn posts from laid off people from Google. The incubator team? Pick any idea and fuck around for a year. Didn't deliver, oh well, pick another. One team's biggest achievement over time was they added emojis to Google Meet. Really a team of say 6-10 people along with Product and Mgmt got paid crazy TC to add emojis?

Google was bloated with lots of bad upper level mgmt starting pet products and hiring lots of people. At some point if a person doesn't wake up and think "this party has to end" they are not taking in the big pic.

Reading Google stories from the aughts, Google was known for being flat an like 100 or more people to a manager. Should have stayed that way.

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u/Thatguyyoupassby Feb 06 '23

This is the uncomfortable truth in all of this.

Yes - CEOs 10000% need to be held accountable. They are making decisions that are laughably and predictably bad. BUT...At the end of the day, MANY of the hires made by those CEOs were simply unnecessary and unsustainable, and needed to be undone.

I have worked at mostly early stage startups so far. I ventured twice to companies past their series B, and both times I was pretty disgusted by the hiring.

My first day at one place we had an all hands meeting to welcome the latest additions. It was myself, in a Director level role, along with 7 other people on various teams. I thought "oh cool, this is their Q1 hiring and they had us all start on the same day". No. I worked there for 6 months before jumping off the sinking ship. We had that same meeting every. single. Monday.

We hired at least 100 people in my time there, and we closed 2 deals. Our end of year goals were adjusted 5 times, and were still laughably high. We had 2 CEOs, 2 CMOs, and 3 VPs of Sales in my 6 months there. The product team was bloated, the engineering team was too thin, the sales team lacked experience, and the marketing team lacked direction. This company had raised $75M 3 weeks prior to hiring me.

Did our original CEO deserve to be fired for his disastrous tenure? Yes. But that alone didn't undo the ~75 useless hires he made during his time.

It's why I prefer early stage startups. There is more risk of the whole company failing, but everyone's role is crucial. Give me a lean team of 6, chasing a realistic target with strong product-market fit, over a team of 500 with an endless budget and a product that has no market and no innovation.

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u/FormerKarmaKing Feb 06 '23

I know someone on the emoji team. I wanted to recruit him based on his programming side project. But then Google hired him and I thought “fuck, they see what I see.”

Nope, they asked him to make emojis.

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u/ScooterBlake11 Feb 06 '23

From what a buddy told me, working at Google was a free ride. Two years working there and really didn't do much. Was on a few teams wrote some code that didn't really produce much and got paid well. Wasn't shocked the gravy train ran out

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u/weirdallocation Feb 06 '23

Agree with you. Google is riding still on past glories, which pay handsomely for them until this date. With that, they fuel huge teams who basically do nothing. I wrote this some time ago in a similar discussion:

I know someone who is a technical project manager at Google in US who
basically said to me they work 2-3 hours a week only. Crazy to think how
much money Google throws away, they could probably further layoff
several thousands more people and it wouldn't make a difference in their
future roadmap.

Btw, this person was hired during the pandemics, and was not affected by the layoffs...

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u/sdric Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23 Platinum

Also the idea of golden parachutes (large bonuses for fired managers / CEOs) has to be rethought.

It was a tool to avoid hostile takeovers, but Twitter has shown us with bravado that this doesn't work anymore, as there is a growing number of individuals with so much money that the golden parachute is not a deterrent anymore.

Instead, the golden parachute has been rewarding underperforming or flat-out negligent managers, while hindering necessary changes. Companies and especially workers have suffered from this. Incompetent managers tend to sacrifice long-term goals and employee health for short-term window dressing1 by presumably cutting costs through layoffs, while negatively impacting long-term projects, goals and regularly even daily business.

1 Gaining a short-term influx of money or spike of cost reduction to make the annual financial statement seem more profitable

EDIT:

Since some people missunderstand; golden parachutes are severance for early termination of management. This can by triggered by a hostile actor taking over the company and swapping management to suit their own goals or also by shareholders withdrawing confidence in management and forcing them to resign (e.g., because of underperformance).

EDIT II:

u/sfreagin Stated that these days, in contract law, there is a stricter distinction between golden parachutes for non-performance based termination (e.g. hostile takeovers) and performance based termination (by shareholders). Personally, I consider this plausible - but historically it has not been the case. If somebody has more information on this, feel free to share.

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u/brett_riverboat Feb 06 '23

"Sure, you paid me millions of dollars over the years, but I'll be in a real fix if I don't have any money to tide me over until my next CEO gig."

- CEOs probably

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u/jrohila Feb 06 '23

Golden parachutes were intended to make sure managers don't fear making mistakes and hiding them. They were also made so that managers have courage to go and tell the truth to the chairman and the board if needed - i.e. chairman/board wants something that is impossible to reach, thus creating a conflict.

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u/sdric Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

That's only a side effect of questionable effectiveness. See the definition for golden parachute here for reference. Primary function is the avoidance of hostile takeovers.

EDIT:

To make it more clear; golden parachutes are severance pay that only trigger in case of early dismissal. They are not part of the regular bonuses. Normal management bonuses are a different subject.

The idea is that a company has 2 values: A long-term value generated from running business and a short term value if you destroy it and sell it for parts.

If a hostile company takes over (depending on their amount of shares), the executives still have enough power to block or at least delay the liquidation (selling for parts) of the company.

Most hostile Hedgefonds take a company, sell it for parts and use the cash to jump to the next company, rather than waiting for it to generate long-term profits.

Golden parachutes - in theory - serve as a measure to avoid that this security layer is simply bypassed by replacing the executives. If the cost of replacing them high enough, it deters hostile Hedgefonds from acquisition and liquidation.

The same applies to cases where the company is not liquidated for parts, but subject to a major change of operative business or internal structures.

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u/burnerman0 Feb 06 '23

Supporters believe that golden parachutes make it easier to hire and retain top executives, particularly in merger-prone industries. In addition, proponents believe that these lucrative benefit packages allow executives to remain objective if the company is involved in a takeover or merger and that they can discourage takeovers because of the costs that are associated with the golden parachute contracts.

Soo... #1 is just it's a benny that attracts execs. #2 it's a high cost item to dissuade takeovers. Except #2 doesn't make a ton of sense because of the company isn't taken over it's still going to have to eventually pay the exec the same amount that is apparently so high it's going to throw a wrench in a merger. I'm pretty sure the golden parachute is really just about rich people taking care of rich people.

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u/guynamedjames Feb 06 '23

Yeah, there's a lot more regular workers. If the goal is to avoid a takeover write them golden parachute contracts.

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u/Muppetude Feb 06 '23

2 doesn't make a ton of sense because of the company isn't taken over it's still going to have to eventually pay the exec the same amount

Most golden parachutes used to be structured where they only kick in, in the case of early dismissal. It guaranteed the exec X years of job stability during which they could only be fired for cause.

It also doubled as a deterrent against hostile takeover, because since the exec’s values were in line with the current Board, the new Board following a hostile takeover would have to pay out a lot of money to replace the exec with someone more in line with their goals.

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u/resumethrowaway222 Feb 06 '23

Twitter was not a hostile takeover. In fact, Twitter took the extremely unusual step of suing Elon Musk to force him to complete the purchase.

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u/codyt321 Feb 06 '23

The board didn't have a choice in suing Elon. They have a legal responsibility to do what's in the "best interest of the shareholders." Elon tied a 44 billion dollar noose around his neck. If the Twitter board didn't pull on that rope then the Twitter shareholders would have sued the Twitter board to do so.

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u/resumethrowaway222 Feb 06 '23

The definition of "hostile takeover" is that the buyer has to force the company to accept the purchase, usually by removing the board. The company forcing the buyer to complete the purchase is literally the opposite of a hostile takeover.

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u/th3greg Feb 06 '23

Hostile handover.

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u/Grand-Pen7946 Feb 06 '23

Okay so it looks like people are already forgetting the (admittedly hilarious) sequence of events.

1) Musk begins buying up shares

2) Twitter offers a seat on the board

3) Musk initiates a hostile takeover

4) Twitter initiates a poison pill. At this point we are well beyond hostile takeover territory.

5) Musk offers $44bn, which is accepted

6) Musk tried to back out of the deal

7) Twitter takes him to court to force him to go through with the purchase

It was a hostile takeover and then I guess the opposite of hostile takeover. All because Elon has no friends and his ex-family hates him

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u/bony_doughnut Feb 06 '23

In the beginning, you're right, it looked like it was headed for a hostile takeover. But, by the end, Twitter was 100% the one who wanted the deal and forced it through

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u/Enigm4 Feb 06 '23

CEO's being paid hundreds of millions is one of the biggest scams in human history.

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u/shponglespore Feb 06 '23

Right? So many people would happily fuck up a big company for free, but boards insist they need to pay millions of dollars for a proper fuck-up.

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u/anonymousperson767 Feb 07 '23

I laugh like there’s some air that being a CEO is some monumental burden. How hard can it possibly be to make bets where the outcome doesn’t really matter to you as a person?

If I told you every decision you make will affect a random homeless person, you’d probably be like “well I’m not going to actively fuck that guy over but I’m not gonna be sad if he is fucked over”

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u/Ok_Salad999 Feb 06 '23

So the CEO can make a quarter of a BILLION dollars in one year but it’s labor that needs to be cut back to make the machine run?

This guy can fuck himself into oblivion. Wildly overpaid and dangerously undereducated, clearly. Fucking entitled moron.

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u/LetsPlayItGrant Feb 06 '23

My own CEO said, "I take full responsibility for this" during the first round of layoffs. What did that mean? Literally nothing except another round of layoffs. Remove the overpaid CEOs from companies. There's no reason someone should be a literal billionaire at the top while the bottom can't even pay rent.

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u/skytomorrownow Feb 06 '23

Ancient general, after losing a battle:

"Men, we lost today. I take full responsibility. In doing so, I have decided to sacrifice 1000 of you to the gods. It's the only way to show how truly sincere I am about taking responsibility."

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u/Deconceptualist Feb 06 '23

There's no reason someone should be a literal billionaire at the top while the bottom can't even pay rent.

I suspect companies too often give the CEO all the keys to the kingdom, but they're also super paranoid about their secrets and dirty laundry getting leaked. So they overpay to keep the CEO loyal. If they don't, another company will pay a big pile of gold, and the exec will leave along with the dirty secrets. It's a system that accelerates itself.

IT admins and security officers know that execs shouldn't be "super admins" in any of the systems. A CEO doesn't even have time to get his hands dirty with admin work, he has meetings all day every day. But boards don't want to listen to the CISO when they say to make the roles and knowledge more modular and safely compartmentalized. It would make the board feel less powerful, because then they can't just pull the stings of their expensive CEO puppet for everything. They would actually have to rely on the appropriate staff instead, and that takes effort. /rant

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u/granadesnhorseshoes Feb 06 '23

Its the same old privatized profits and socialized losses. Company does good? The Executives are geniuses. Company does bad? The executives are still geniuses, but having a run of bad luck.

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u/Which-Moment-6544 Feb 06 '23

Bubble kind of popped on imagining these tech bozos as genius.

The industry got drunk of free money and has entered its GM, Ford, Chrysler stage. Those companies only cared about their employees as much as they had to.

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u/HecknChonker Feb 06 '23

Elon has gone a long way to discrediting the role of tech CEO.

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u/Teeshirtandshortsguy Feb 06 '23

With Hasbro/Wizards, Netflix, and Peloton, I'm honestly starting to think most executives are idiots.

It's like they genuinely don't understand how the world works. They skate by on the cultural inertia of the company below them. But then they get horny for more money and think they can run things all by themselves, only to make the dumbest fucking decisions possible.

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u/nlewis4 Feb 06 '23

I'm honestly starting to think most executives are idiots.

I have family members that are high level executives and they have completely forgotten what it is like to be a normal human being. One of them is a total drooling moron and the other one is a decent person but their advice is completely out of touch.

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u/driving_andflying Feb 06 '23

With Hasbro/Wizards, Netflix, and Peloton, I'm honestly starting to think most executives are idiots.

100% agree. The latest OGL debacle with Hasbro/Wizards has shown that the only thing companies are interested in now, is meeting quarterly revenue projections in order to satisfy shareholders. It's pretty sad, because there's this unrealistic idea of "More profits than before, always" that isn't sustainable.

It's like modern CEO's and shareholders forget, or intentionally ignore, the idea that slow, steady gains with an occasional loss, and good relations with your customer base, is the realistic way to keep a company going and growing.

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u/seeasea Feb 06 '23

Long before Elon, Zuckerberg really showed the way.

Also, one of the things that silicon valley did was make "nerd culture" cool. But the tech CEOs really makes it look like they're just absolute weirdos. From body hacking, blood infusions for aging and whatever SBF was doing and all that other bs, it wasn't nerd culture that was weird. It was weird people who were weird.

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u/darkhorsehance Feb 06 '23

Way before Zuck. Most of them, all have one thing in common. Influenced by Peter Thiel.

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u/[deleted] Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

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u/Available_Slide1888 Feb 06 '23

Stairs are best cleaned from the top.

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u/PracticableSolution Feb 06 '23

Start rating companies by the multiplier between average salary and CEO salary.

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u/Bigedmond Feb 06 '23

Won’t matter. Share holders will still expect new CEO’s to cut costs to increase profits.

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u/starwarsyeah Feb 06 '23

This has to be the obvious take. What kind of leadership is there to SUDDENLY decide the need to fire 10k people? If you haven't been monitoring your business closely enough to gradually adjust staffing levels, to the point of needing to lay off thousands, you're just bad at your job.

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u/sarhoshamiral Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

As we saw the earnings, it is clear now the economy was a bad excuse especially since future isn't look too bad either.

They all overhired in covid with crazy salaries and sometimes without specific projects. The slight slowdown was an excuse to correct that mistake instead of waiting for natural attrition.

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u/RodeAndCrashed Feb 06 '23

It pisses me off when the authors of articles like this do crap research. Intel laid off THOUSANDS of employees in December and January. Then upper management took pay cuts in the 10 - 25% range to avoid even more. However, every employee at Intel was also given a cut in that bonuses are stopped, no raises this year, 401k match lowered, internal T&E zero’ed out, etc.. They also gave all employees in grades 7-11 a 5% pay cut. Trust me, these are average working folks not management. To talk about upper management taking the hit and not mentioning any of this is crap journalism.

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u/spacepoo77 Feb 06 '23

CEOs need to grow some balls and stop being chief fluffer to shareholders dick

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u/resumethrowaway222 Feb 06 '23

You're not understanding CEO's and shareholders. Let's say you buy a house and decide to rent it out, so you hire a property manager to handle it for you. In this scenario, you are the shareholders and the property manager is the CEO. If he rents the house out for too little and stops making you money you will fire him, because it's not his house, it's yours, and he just works there. So he better fluff that dick.

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u/chaser676 Feb 06 '23

Also, they have a legal obligation to fluff dick.

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u/LRRR_RulerOfPersei8 Feb 06 '23

That is the purpose is a CEO. If they stop fluffing, shareholders will kick them to the curb.

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u/[deleted] Feb 06 '23 edited Feb 06 '23

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u/MaoWasaLoser Feb 06 '23

If Alphabet wants that kind of investor, they would need to pay a dividend. But they don't, so they only way they can attract investors is through high returns.

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u/LieutenantStar2 Feb 06 '23

All those billions and they still don’t pay a dividend.

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u/farmtownsuit Feb 06 '23

Because they use the money for growth and stock buy backs to push the stock price higher because capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than dividends which are mostly taxed like normal income.

We should be taxing capital gains as normal income. Steady dividends and modest growth on par with the growth of GDP is way more sustainable and healthy than trying to get infinitely accelerating growth

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u/Brandhor Feb 06 '23

because they are not earning money consistently, they have a share that is worth nothing till someone buys it from them, so if you buy 1 share of google today for 100$ and it's still 100$ in 10 years when you want to sell it you might as well keep your money

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u/zekeweasel Feb 06 '23

Not to belabor the obvious, but the CEOs work for the Board of Directors, who directly represent the shareholders.

So fellating shareholders/the Board is their actual job. Raising stock prices is their chief performance measure.

Where the problems come in is when CEOs resort to shenanigans like massive up sizing in good times and layoffs in slower times in efforts to manipulate the stock prices, rather than concentrating on the fundamentals of their business.

Layoffs should be the corporate equivalent of amputation - something that's done when the business unit can't be saved and is threatening to drag the whole company down with it.

But too many execs look at it as an easy way to cut headcount and reduce payroll, both of which increase profits directly in the short term.

Boards and shareholders need to start holding CEOs responsible for layoffs and other shady shenanigans intended to manipulate stock prices but that aren't actually healthy in the long haul.

In Google's case, Pichal's comments about being prepared for an economic reality different than what we've currently got is a huge admission of fucking up and that neither he nor his executives know WTF they are doing.

The shareholders and board need to be holding him responsible for that and the 12k layoffs, instead of rewarding him for making the stock price go up/not go down so fast.

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u/jon_mox_jet Feb 06 '23

stop being chief fluffer to shareholders dick

That's literally the entire purpose of CEOs. I can't imagine what you think they actually do outside of that.

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u/Maximum_Location_140 Feb 06 '23

workers need to unionize. who is going to protect you if you won’t protect yourselves?

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u/garlicroastedpotato Feb 06 '23

Employees are fired by a dictator, CEOs are fired by a democracy.

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u/funguyy1 Feb 06 '23

🥱 so when will the workers fire their bosses, it’s not called quitting?

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u/NaughtyNome Feb 06 '23 Gold

Imagine tens of thousands of workers innovating through this time of supposed strife instead of getting canned

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u/DrAstralis Feb 06 '23

Its not even a time of strife for these companies. They're laying people off because growth has slowed, not stopped. These ghouls are literally laying off tens of thousands of people because they couldnt make 'line go up' in 2023 after 2022's insane, never seen before, levels of profit. These workers are being laid off because they were TOO productive last year and if line doesnt go up the fucking world ends I guess.

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u/SgtNeilDiamond Feb 06 '23

Yup this is the story at my work. We exploded during the pandemic to absolutely unreal numbers that simply weren't going to happen outside of this very unique circumstance.

Here we are on the outside of that circumstance and the brass are all throwing fits about the lack of growth that is simply unachievable. So they blame us for underperformance while never reforcasting to a more reasonable goal to fit the actual market, not the one they made up of their heads staring at sales numbers from 2 years ago.

It's always the workers fault, how dare we question the executives that make all of our actual financial decisions.

I haven't had a raise in three fucking years.

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u/gerusz Feb 06 '23

"Plane's ascent slowed down. Must be too heavy. Let's dump some engines to save weight!"

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u/[deleted] Feb 06 '23

I'd say every company needs to stop laying off workers and start firing CEOs.