Yesterday saw San Francisco-based tech firm Twilio join the growing ranks of companies that are laying off employees as post-pandemic growth reality falls short of pandemic-pumping hype.
Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson announced plans to cut around 11% of the company’s workforce, after admitting that the company had grown too fast:
“Twilio has grown at an astonishing rate over the past couple years. It was too fast, and without enough focus on our most important company priorities. I take responsibility for those decisions, as well as the difficult decision to do this layoff.”
But this announcement was different.
For the first time we can remember, the CEO appeared to make the case that race was involved in the decision-making process around who lost their jobs…
“Layoffs like this can have a more pronounced impact on marginalized communities,” Lawson wrote in a memo to employees.
“So we were particularly focused on ensuring our layoffs – while a business necessity today – were carried out through an Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression lens.”
Forgive us for our obvious bias, but doesn’t that statement infer that if they hadn’t considered race then the layoffs would have been ‘racist’?
“No one at Twilio has made any mention of it,” one of the sources said.
“Being an anti racist company is part of our core values.”
The employees dismissed claims of “race-based” job cuts.
“I’m sure right wingers think this means firing only white people,” one of the employees said, noting that it appeared anecdotally that the laid off employees were “an equal mix” of women, men, and underrepresented minorities.
Well how do they explain his comments then… since Lawson did not provide any details about how the company would ensure that the layoffs did not cut deeper into certain groups of its 7,800 worldwide employees
Are we really at that point?