News about Medium Staff
I shared this letter today with our entire Medium staff.
Today we made the painful decision to reduce the size of the company by 29 people. These employees come from our operations, marketing, design and creator relations teams.
The main message that I want to get across, and this is what makes today’s decision difficult, is that every one of these people is a great colleague. We have been lucky to be able to work with them. Their work here was top-notch, and they have a lot to offer the industry.
However optimistic I am about the future careers of the impacted employees, I also know that today is a massive disruption in their lives. People are losing their jobs. As a company, we will do everything we can to help with their transition.
To those impacted today, I want to express my gratitude to you for your part in Medium’s history. Your contributions mattered and will always be a part of our story. More importantly, I want to offer my apology. I know the word disruption doesn’t do justice to what you are feeling today. I am sorry.
How did we get here?
The driving reason behind this decision is focus. Medium has a reputation as a company that has tried a lot of experimental approaches. Experimenting is part of who we are. I hope we never lose that spirit, that persistence, and that courage to try new things. That is what makes Medium a special place to work.
But today is the downside of experimenting. We’ve found ourselves bigger than we need to be for the focused mission ahead.
The team that remains is the team that we need for the strategy I have laid out. Our success comes when we facilitate our community of readers and writers. We are at our best when we put tools and incentives in place for our authors and then get out of their way.
When we experiment going forward, I’d like to see us experiment in partnership with our community. This is a change in strategy, and I believe we’ll be better positioned to support this change as a smaller, more focused team.
There is also a secondary reason. This is a time where a lot of other companies are doing layoffs under the cover of cost cutting due to economic concerns. For employees that remain, we will be looking at how we spend money and I expect that we will find very significant cost savings throughout the company. But for today’s decision, cost cutting is secondary to focusing.
What we are doing for impacted employees
We are doing everything we can to help support these employees.
Every impacted employee today is having a 1:1 meeting with their manager or a senior leader to ensure that they understand today’s decision and understand how we are supporting them. Each departing employee will receive:
- A minimum of 3 months of severance and 3 months of COBRA.
- Employees with options have 2 years to exercise (our standard) and employees in their first year will have their vesting cliff removed.
- Employees may keep their computer equipment.
- We will offer support finding new jobs.
Although we don’t carry a lot of sensitive user information, we do carry some. So out of responsibility to our users, we are shutting off access to internal accounts and documents. However, we know this carries a downside of making today’s decision feel jarring because it makes it hard for teammates to say goodbye to each other. The people leaving today are leaving in good standing and they deserve those personal goodbyes. We will be providing, at the impacted employee’s discretion, contact info so that teammates can connect personally.
It’s important to note that there are also a handful of Medium staff who are impacted, but have agreed to stay onboard a few weeks longer to support the transition of their role. These employees are part of our Operations team and their transitions will be critical to setting their teammates up for success. This is no small ask, and we thank them for their support.
I know this is a difficult day. We are parting with people we respect and have loved working with. I’m sure as well that this decision will make some feel uncertain about our future. I want to assure everyone that I feel nothing but optimism for the future of Medium. Medium has a very bright future and today’s decision leaves us in a stronger position to pursue it.