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CEO of $4.5 billion tech agency slams his friends over layoffs: ‘These are people’

Wefox CEO Julian Teicke.


HELSINKI, Finland — The boss of European digital insurance coverage startup Wefox supplied a damning response to tech corporations which have laid off employees en masse.

The likes of Meta, Amazon and Twitter have laid off tens of 1000’s of workers in response to strain from traders, who need to see them minimize prices to climate a world financial downturn.

Swedish fintech agency Klarna was among the many first main employers in tech to slash jobs this yr, chopping 10% of its workforce in Could. A number of corporations have adopted go well with, from these in Large Tech to venture-backed startups like Stripe.

Julian Teicke, CEO of Wefox, advised CNBC he’s “disgusted” by what he views as a disregard by a few of his friends for his or her workers.

“I am just a little disgusted by statements like, ‘by no means miss a great disaster’ [or] ‘we’ve got to chop the fats,'” Teicke mentioned in an interview on the sidelines of Slush, a startup convention in Helsinki, Finland.

Enterprise capitalists have been advising startups of their portfolios to chop prices and freeze hiring as economists warn of an impending recession.

Following a bumper 2021 filled with IPOs and mega funding rounds, among the most beneficial startups in Europe laid off vital numbers of workers and drastically scaled again their enlargement plans.

At first of Slush on Thursday, Sequoia Capital associate Doug Leone advised founders and traders they need to embrace alternatives introduced by challenges within the broader financial system.

Amazon CEO says layoffs will continue into 2023

Forecasting a protracted recession worse than the 2008 or 2000 crises, Leone mentioned some corporations will emerge stronger than others. 

“You’ve got an awesome alternative in entrance of you, in case you play your playing cards proper,” he mentioned. “You’ve got a chance to move 10 vehicles. Don’t waste a great recession.”

In some eyebrow-raising feedback, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, mentioned his agency was “fortunate” to chop jobs when it did. Siemiatkowski mentioned that roughly 90% of the individuals laid off had since discovered new jobs.

“If we might have completed that immediately, that most likely sadly wouldn’t have been the case,” Siemiatkowski advised CNBC in an interview.

With out naming names, Teicke slammed the tech business over its method to mass redundancies.

“These are those who have perhaps stop different jobs to hitch your small business. These are those who have perhaps moved to different locations due to you. These are those who have perhaps ended romantic relationships.”

Teicke mentioned managers have a accountability to guard their workers.

“I consider that CEOs need to do every little thing of their energy to guard their workers,” he mentioned. “I have not seen that within the tech business. And I am disgusted by that.”

“These are people,” he added.

Wefox is a Berlin, Germany-based agency that connects customers looking for insurance coverage with brokers and associate insurers by a web based platform. The corporate was valued by traders at $4.5 billion in a July funding spherical.

Wefox says its enterprise is “crisis-resistant.” However fellow insurtechs have needed to make cuts currently, together with Lemonade, which shed 20% of workers at Metromile, a automobile insurance coverage firm it acquired, in July.

Requested whether or not his personal agency must make redundancies in response to shifting investor sentiment, Teicke mentioned his agency was “cautious” in regards to the macroeconomic setting however had no plans for mass layoffs.

“I do not consider in mass layoffs,” Teicke mentioned. “We’ll deal with efficiency, however not on mass layoffs.” Wefox is “very shut” to attaining profitability subsequent yr, he added.

Wefox founder explains the opportunity in digital insurance industry

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