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Wefox CEO ‘disgusted’ by mass tech layoffs: ‘These are humans’


Wefox CEO Julian Teicke.


HELSINKI, Finland — The boss of European digital insurance coverage startup Wefox provided 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 hundreds of staff in response to strain from traders, who wish to see them minimize prices to climate a worldwide financial downturn.

Swedish fintech agency Klarna was among the many first major employers in tech to slash jobs this yr, slicing 10% of its workforce in May. Several corporations have adopted swimsuit, from these in Big 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 staff.

“I’m a little disgusted by statements like, ‘never miss a good crisis’ [or] ‘we have to cut the fat,'” Teicke mentioned in an interview on the sidelines of Slush, a startup convention in Helsinki, Finland.

Venture capitalists have been advising startups in their portfolios to cut costs and freeze hiring as economists warn of an impending recession.

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

At the beginning 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 prolonged recession worse than the 2008 or 2000 crises, Leone mentioned some corporations will emerge stronger than others. 

“You have a great opportunity in front of you, if you play your cards right,” he mentioned. “You have an opportunity to pass 10 cars. Do not waste a good recession.”

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

“If we would have done that today, that probably unfortunately would not have been the case,” Siemiatkowski advised CNBC in an interview.

Without naming names, Teicke slammed the tech trade over its method to mass redundancies.

“These are people that have maybe quit other jobs to join your business. These are people that have maybe moved to other places because of you. These are people that have maybe ended romantic relationships.”

Teicke mentioned managers have a accountability to guard their staff.

“I believe that CEOs have to do everything in their power to protect their employees,” he mentioned. “I haven’t seen that in the tech industry. And I’m disgusted by that.”

“These are humans,” he added.

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

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

Asked 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 don’t believe in mass layoffs,” Teicke mentioned. “We’re going to focus on performance, but not on mass layoffs.” Wefox is “very close” to reaching profitability subsequent yr, he added.

Wefox founder explains the opportunity in digital insurance industry

Source: www.cnbc.com


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