The number of layoffs in the tech industry has been sobering. A few months ago, tech companies and workers felt invincible, and now many are simply trying to survive.
Carta laid off 161 people (about 16% of their workforce). I don’t work at Carta or know anything about its CEO, Henry Ward, so I don’t know how the news was received. But Ward’s message to the staff was as good as I’ve seen.
- Everyone was told the news, rather than separating the staff and telling only those who were not being laid off.
- He takes full responsibility, and says he overruled managers who fought to keep their staff.
- Everyone was given three months severance pay and COBRA premiums through the end of the year.
- The one-year option cliff was removed and employees were given at least one year to purchase their options.
- Anyone not laid off who wanted the same deal could get it.
This is a hard thing to do, but taking responsibility and treating the people who believed in you fairly is something that separates good leaders from bad ones.