Chief, a professional network designed for women in leadership, cut 14% of its staff, or 43 jobs, today in an email seen by TechCrunch, saying the move is a response to the economy and the outfit is restructuring to focus more on members. Experience.
The layoffs have hit key US employees as the business’s fledgling UK presence is small. About 262 employees remain in the company. Injured persons continue to receive at least 12 weeks of layoff and health care coverage. The CEO closed his New York office for the day while staff processed the news.
Co-founders Lindsay Kaplan and Carolyn Childers wrote an email to employees explaining the decision. Beyond describing the “difficult macroeconomic environment” that plagued so many tech startups last year, the two directors highlighted four priorities for the business: an in-person opportunity, personalization to support members, simplification of the digital experience, and ultimately, “diversity, equity, Inclusion, and inclusion in all areas of leadership experience” to continue.
The latest priority emphasized by the co-founders — to bring diversity to every boss experience — comes less than a month after the New York Times published a story about the turmoil in the business over some members’ views on what a boss should be talking about. on social and economic issues affecting marginalized women. 33% of the Chiefs membership base identifies as coming from a diverse background, down from 35% in October. The company recently hit 20,000 members.
Last year at TechCrunch Disruption, Chief’s co-founders addressed the “increased scrutiny” that mission-driven companies receive. “For Lynsey and I, it’s at the forefront of everything we’ve ever thought about when we thought about the teams and the culture and what we wanted to build,” Childers said. We feel this way because we are a mission-driven company rather than having a female CEO or founder.
Kaplan added that further testing “doesn’t look like a ticking time bomb.” It is always about walking the walk and making sure we are practicing what we preach,” he said.
Boss clearly wants employees, members, and the world to know that he is focused on experience. The staff cuts come a week after the business announced another executive hire: Sujean Lee, HypeBeast’s former chief operating officer, in his first-ever chief operating officer role.
The company hit a $1.1 billion valuation over three years and eventually raised a $100 million Series B round in 2022 led by Alphabet Capital G. As with many other prices, it was harder and harder to defend as the market got worse. For example, 70% of Prime members see their membership worth up to $7,900 annually, paid by employers. Now these same employers are looking to cut costs and are downsizing themselves.
Chief declined to comment on the cuts or financials beyond e-mail.