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CEO Fires More Than 1,000 Workers Weeks After Telling Them To Work Longer Hours

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employee leaving work with box of things after being fired

A CEO of a major company has caught major backlash after an employee shared the message she and thousands of other employees received on the day they were laid off.

In a TikTok video, a woman named Alex revealed the emotional reaction she had after learning that she was going to be out of a job, despite being essentially promised that her position was safe.

The company laid off over 1,000 employees after telling them they needed to work longer hours.

In Alex's video, she sat in front of her laptop while on a group call with a plethora of other employees at the infamous furniture and decor company, Wayfair. In overlay text on her video, Alex explained that she was getting laid off from her corporate job on the same day as her fifth anniversary of being sober. 

"Let me begin by saying we hoped we wouldn't be in this position again," the CEO of Wayfair, Niraj Shah, said during the call. "Yet we are, and we deeply regret the impact this decision may have on you. For that, I am truly very sorry."

   

   

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The company's CEO continued, saying that this decision wasn't a reflection on any of the employees individually, but rather friction within the company itself. Shah claimed that everyone on the call had been "tremendous team members, colleagues, and friends" to both him and many other people.

"We are here to support you, both professionally and personally as you navigate the next steps. We will begin deactivating all systems access at this time." Once the call was over, a tearful Alex remarked that in just 30 seconds, she was out of a job, and everything was turned off, so she didn't have access to any of her work material.

To make matters worse, before being laid off, all of Wayfair's employees were previously told they would need to start working longer hours.

Wayfair's CEO claimed that the layoffs were sparked because of hiring too many employees.

According to Business Insider, Shah cut a total of 1,650 jobs, with many corporate staff members caught in the fire. The company laid off 13% of its workforce including almost one-fifth of its corporate team.

In a statement, Shah said that Wayfair was cutting down the size of teams across the company "as well as reducing seniority in certain roles that we plan to rebuild with modified leveling over the course of this year." In an email sent back in December 2023, Shah claimed the company was "back to winning" and had more repeat customers, but warned employees to spend company money carefully and be open to long days at work.

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"Working long hours, being responsive, blending work and life, is not anything to shy away from," Shah said in the email. "There is not a lot of history of laziness being rewarded with success." 

Unfortunately, this plea for Wayfair employees to work longer hours was an empty reassurance that their jobs were safe. Instead, it seems like another CEO at another major company wanted to squeeze every last drop of work from its workers before eventually letting them go.

Mass layoffs are a growing trend illustrating the tenuousness of job security. 

Wayfair isn't the only company that has recently participated in massive layoffs, other retailers including Macy's, Etsy, and Hasbro also announced job cuts due to inflation, and other factors.

This incident, along with the thousands of other employees who are now out of work across various corporations just proves that there is a huge disconnect between big-name CEOs and the people that work under them.

   

   

While the volatility of the economy and the job market can feel daunting, being prepared is the best defense when it comes to the possibility of a layoff. Keep your resume up to date. Stay connected with your network. And most importantly, take your extra effort and energy and put it towards a passion project rather than using it on a job that has no intention of rewarding your loyalty and commitment.

Who knows, your side hustle might turn into something lucrative.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.