CEO Lays Off Half The Workforce And Is Surprised When Everyone Else Quits & His Business Fails

He never took accountability for the failure of his business or his bad business practices.

man quitting, business closing Dragana Gordic / William Barton / Shutterstock

If you’re in the rare population of people who’ve seen their colleagues turn in resignations one after the other, leaving an organization scrambling, you’ve had an experience that many get to avoid throughout their career.

When one person posed the question, “What happened at work which caused multiple people to quit at once?” you may have expected the normal stories of CEOs not valuing work-life balance, lacking empathy for employees, or making controversial decisions.


But CEO did something that caused the majority of the workforce to jump ship and forced his company to close.

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An employee said that the CEO decided to lay off half the company they worked for with no warning whatsoever.

In the post, originally shared on the AskReddit subreddit and then uploaded to TikTok, they went on to say that the layoff included “a gentleman who was less than a year from retirement and had been there for 35 plus years.” This naturally upset his co-workers who reasoned that if he were expendable, they would be, too.


The company did landscape construction and, according to the poster, the “cheap” owner continued to take on big projects but refused to hire enough workers to complete them. Instead, he relied on the workers he already had to take on more and more duties.

“We were all overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious,” they said of themselves and their overworked colleagues. The environment led to the resignation of one of the foremen, followed quickly by the Redditor and two other men, leaving just three employees to do the work of many.

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ceo lays off half the company then wonders why rest of employees quitPhoto: Reddit


When work fell behind, the defiant owner failed to take accountability and, eventually, his company went out of business less than a year later.

The business owner fell victim to his own over-promises. He bit off more than he could chew and depended on his staff, who was already stretched too thin, to pick up the slack without stopping to consider the mental, physical, and emotional toll. Instead, he focused on the bottom line and, in the end, that turned out to be his downfall.

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Business is not just about making money. Those at the helm of organizations need more than financial expertise to succeed. Employers, managers and even CEOs have to help employees achieve true work-life balance, avoid using their position of power to victimize workers, understand the importance of good mental health among staff, and just be a good human being overall.

Failing to see the "people" side of the business equation will undoubtedly lead to bad morale, less productivity, disgruntled workers, and, in the worst cases, a mass exodus like this one. But a business owner’s troubles might not end there. It’s always possible that their insensitive behavior could cost them a lot more than the organization they have built.


The best bosses think positively, are transparent, show empathy, delegate and distribute the workload fairly and thoughtfully, communicate effectively, inspire their employees, promote work-life balance, encourage growth, recognize their employees’ contributions, and provide mentorship that allows employees to show up as the best versions of themselves.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer and author from Seattle, Washington. She covers issues navigating the workplace using the experience garnered over two decades of working in Human Resources and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.