Just a few days ago, Airtable published a memo on how laid-off employees can use Airtable to search for jobs. “It has been an unwanted theme of 2022: Layoffs,” the post read. “Each season seems to usher in a new wave of austerity. Meanwhile, companies are citing similar concerns about rising inflation, the looming threat of an economic downturn and the need for stability in turbulent times. For the souls who have lost their jobs this year, it is another cruel insecurity to overcome.”
(Update: The resignation was announced internally along with an executive resignation. Airtable’s Chief Revenue Officer, Chief People Officer and Chief Product Officer have all resigned from the company effective today, a spokesperson confirmed to ExamPaper.)
Now Airtable’s employees are faced with the same feeling. Last valued at $11 billion, the leader without code today issued a round of layoffs affecting approximately 254 employees in business development, engineering and other teams. The company spokesperson says Airtable continues to hire for “strategically important” positions and 20% of its workforce were affected today.
Those affected by Airtable’s layoffs today will receive at least 16 weeks of severance pay, accelerated equity awards and, for those with a visa, support from an immigration attorney, sources say. Employees were given the opportunity to have a 1:1 meeting with a leader of the company in response to the news.
In an email obtained by ExamPaper and first seen by tracker Layoffs.fyi, founder and CEO of Airtable Why Liu said the company will evolve from a bottom-up adopted product to one that brings connected apps to larger enterprises.
“We expanded quickly and performed on multiple fronts. At the time, I believed we could successfully pursue them all in parallel,” Liu wrote in the email. “However, by looking closely at our efforts in the current market environment, we have identified the teams best positioned to seize the business opportunity to bring full focus, alignment and accountability to our execution.”
The vision was part of the reason ExamPaper spoke to Liu in October, when Airtable announced its more integrated approach to connected apps. Subsequently, the entrepreneur pointed to the $735 million Series F round from 2021 as a fortunate reason that Airtable was able to remain well-capitalized during the recession.
“We have more than enough runway to become profitable and then some,” Liu said in an interview with ExamPaper. “We’re a private company so we’re not under fire to show short term results of profitability – so we’re very lucky not to be under that much pressure and we would never gloat about that, but I I think it puts us in a unique position [to hire talent].”
In today’s internal memo, Liu re-emphasized that Airtable is well-capitalized, but slightly shifted in tone, adding that “a streamlined organization becomes doubly important in times of economic uncertainty.” A spokesperson added that all of Airtable’s Series F funds are “still intact”.
The company says the layoff wasn’t so much a desperate attempt to extend the runway as more a move to realign the company to what really works. A spokesperson said the business side, which makes up the bulk of Airtable’s revenue, is growing at more than 100% year over year; today’s product movement just doubles on that exact cohort.
This whole year has been full of layoffs in the technology sector, but the last quarter was especially huge as macroeconomic pressures reach private companies at a late stage. Yesterday, Plaid announced it would be officially cutting 20% of its workforce, about a month after one of the most valuable fintechs, Stripe, cut 14% of its workforce. Elon Musk cut about 50% of Twitter’s workforce after buying the social media platform, one of the largest layoffs since the start of the pandemic.
Like others, Airtable is adopting a leaner, more focused business strategy to enter the new year.
Current and former Airtable employees can contact Natasha Mascarenhas on Signal, a secure encrypted messaging app, at 925 271 0912. You can also DM her on Twitter, @nmasc_.