The cryptocurrency platform Coinbase announced earlier in early June, “In response to current market conditions and ongoing business prioritization efforts, we will extend our hiring break for both new roles and complementary roles in the foreseeable future and withdraw a number of accepted offers.”[ads1];
It was a public setback on social media sites, as people who have pulled the rugged out from under them shared their stories of being unemployed after looking forward to a new position with the top-level crypto platform. This action may have catalyzed a revolt among dissatisfied Coinbase employees.
Coinbase employees demand removal of top executives
Coinbase employees who were concerned about the canceled offers and other decisions made by management started an online Petition to remove top executives including COO Emilie Choi, Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee and Chief People Officer LJ Brock “in a no-confidence motion.”
The workers criticized the management, saying in the petition, “the management team has recently made decisions that are not in the best interests of the company, its employees and its shareholders”, and these decisions have “led to questionable results and negative value.” They mentioned the following reasons for the dissatisfaction.
- The error on the Coinbase NFT platform
- Overprioritisation of some products, which has led to a lack of focus on other important issues such as infrastructure
- Initiatives such as the Dot Collector and the Performance review system that have led to a toxic workplace culture
- Aggressive hiring for thousands of roles, despite being an unsustainable plan and contrary to the wisdom of the crypto industry
- Not being able to produce products and services of higher or better quality despite aggressive hiring of multiple employees
- Withdrawing offers to new employees despite promising them that their offers would not be withdrawn two weeks earlier, which led to a massive negative reception from the public and the industry in general
- Failure to communicate important ideas and plans to the rest of the company, such as the possibility of layoffs and the plan to fix many technical debts
- A generally apathetic and sometimes condescending attitude from the CPO, COO and Chief People Officer
The group added that the actions of the top management have “harmed several parties.” They claimed that management made “unrealistic demands” that contributed to the company’s share price plummeting, hurting shareholders, a consequent loss of morale among employees and “threats of losing top talent”.
CEO Brian Armstrong Took to Twitter to push back on the petition
This is not the first time Armstrong has come out with a bold “let if you are not happy” command to employees. In October 2020, the CEO of the Silicon Valley-based cryptocurrency exchange told his employees that he would not stand for politics and advocate for social issues in the office. Armstrong bluntly said he would like to offer severance packages to employees who are not comfortable with the new corporate policy of “political neutrality” in the workplace.
The CEO wrote in a letter to employees: “Life is too short to work in a company you are not excited about. Hopefully, this package will help create a win-win result for those who choose to opt out. ” About sixty employees took up Armstrong with his offer and left the company.
Armstrong wrote in his recent tweet storm about employee revolt, “This is really stupid on several levels. If you want to vote on a motion of censure, you should do it on me and not blame the leaders. ” He added: “Who do you think runs this company? I was a little offended not to be included :).
The righteous leaders put off the glove: “If you do not trust the leaders or CEO of a company, then why do you work in that company? Stop and find a company to work for that you believe in!”
The difficult leader agreed that “coming up with suggestions on how to improve the company is a good idea (in fact, we expect everyone to be a part of it),” but it is “our culture is to praise publicly and criticize privately. If you are dissatisfied with something, work as part of the team to lift it along with suggested solutions (it’s easy to be a critic, harder to be a part of the solution). ” In unequivocal terms, Armstrong let prosecutors know that “If you can not do that and you are going to leak / roar out remotely, then stop. Thank you!”
Here’s why this happens
Brock and other business leaders may have been influenced to make tough decisions to tighten their belts because of the bleak economic outlook. We are seeing rapidly falling prices for both shares and cryptocurrencies. Current inflation, supply chain disruptions, large increases in the cost of goods and services, and concerns about a likely impending recession or possible stagflation are worrisome for managers in all types of companies. There are fears of a potential escalation of the Russian war against Ukraine. The Federal Reserve stopped financial stimulus programs, changed course, and announced a quantitative easing program.
According to Brock’s corporate blog post about the hiring break and promotion, “this is not a decision [it makes] easily, “Coinbase believes that by taking” stricter measures to slow down [its] growth in the number of employees »and« adapt quickly and act now », job freezing and reversal of job offers will save money and serve as part of a larger strategy to« successfully navigate this macro environment and appear even stronger, which enables further healthy growth and innovation ».
What people who received a recall offer said about their situation
Ashutosh Ukey: Hi everyone, On March 9th, I received an offer from Coinbase for a Backend Software Engineer role. Since then, I have mainly decided between this offer and an offer of a CS Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
After considering several factors, I had chosen to join Coinbase rather than take a Ph.D. Unfortunately, I just received an email today stating that my offer had been withdrawn (as well as many other people) due to a massive change in the hiring plan from Coinbase.
This was devastating for me when I had to start VOTE VISA and I only have a certain number of days on unemployment. I had even rejected three Ph.D. offer and declined to be interviewed by other companies since I had accepted Coinbase’s offer in mid-March. All these other options are no longer available to me.
Having planned so much for the next phase of my life, it was heartbreaking to see it fall apart so quickly. If anyone knows of opportunities for entry-level software engineering roles (which can sponsor F1 students), your help will be greatly appreciated in these difficult times.
Sarah Bern: About a month ago, I accepted a job offer to join Coinbase as a senior computer scientist. Last Wednesday was my last day on Facebook, and in an unfortunate course of events, I found out on Thursday that my offer was among those that were canceled due to market decline, despite an expected start date of only a week away. I am certainly disappointed with the way these events developed, but I am excited to look at new opportunities. If you know someone who is hiring for computer science or analysis, please get in touch!
Xingcheng Rong: Several days ago I was at the bottom since Coinbase withdrew the offer. Back in March, I signed an offer to start as a software engineer at Coinbase after graduating. I was so excited to start a new page in my life. Rent a house, book flights to San Jose, learn fintech industry knowledge.
Everything has changed since last week. I was depressed for a few days. As an international student, I know how difficult it is to apply for a job, especially in such a tight time (since I was about to start a VOTE VISA and I only want 90 days with deferral days).
I spent six years studying in the United States. There are many great technology companies in the United States. I hope I could have an opportunity to utilize my skills to work here. I do not want six years of study in computer science to be wasted just because an offer is canceled.
Megan Schuller, Ph.D .: Hi LinkedIn, I was eager to start my new job at Coinbase on Monday, June 6th. I was assigned to join the Talent Effectiveness team, help optimize the candidate experience and design programs to ensure employee success. Unfortunately, my offer has been withdrawn as well as several others.
I am currently looking for opportunities in talent development and employee engagement. If you or someone you know is hiring, I will be happy to get in touch. Comment, share or send a DM. Thank you.
What happens to cryptocurrencies?
Wall Street Journal reported that “Coinbase shares are down 77% so far this year and about 83% from the record high in November of $ 357. On Friday, the stock fell 7.9% to $ 58.71.” The WSJ added: “The entire crypto sector is under pressure given the continued sale of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It has forced many to cut costs and abandon plans that seemed feasible just months ago.”