As Predicted by Utah Money Watch 3 Months Ago, Qualtrics Laid-Off ~780 Employees Yesterday, ~15% of its Workforce

As Predicted by Utah Money Watch 3 Months Ago, Qualtrics Laid-Off ~780 Employees Yesterday, ~15% of its Workforce

And to be clear, we do NOT think the changes, or employee headcount reductions, are over at Qualtrics.

In a company-wide email sent yesterday, Qualtrics International's CEO, Zig Serafin, announced that the company had

"made the difficult decision to eliminate approximately 780 roles across the company."

Additionally, the email stated that "several hundred roles are changing or moving locations over the next year."

According to the email, the layoffs would "touch every team at the company," and all employees were told that they would receive an invitation to "join a specific Zoom meeting where we will share your status and next steps."

¿¡¿¡¿¡ "Share your status and next steps" ?!?!?!

OUCH!!! Not really touchy-feely there, HR Department.

However, continuing on ...

The internal announcement also refers to "... a deep review of every function in the company."

The email then alludes to possible changes to Qualtrics' "organizational structure," potential changes designed to

  • "enable our teams to work better together,
  • "bring new innovations to market faster, and
  • "make it easier for our customers and partners to do business with us."

For its part, the announcement says that Qualtrics employees losing their jobs in the U.S. yesterday would "be eligible

  1. "to receive a minimum of 10 weeks of severance based on tenure and level ... (and)
  2. "for health insurance,
  3. "Q4 performance bonuses,
  4. "cash settled vesting, and
  5. "unpaid wellness and experience bonus amounts."

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Depending upon the number of employees losing their jobs in Europe, employers may be obligated to provide advance up to 60 days in advance of a planned layoff.

Our 29 June 2023 Prediction

Back in late June, I wrote about the closing of the purchase of Qualtrics in "Acquisition of Qualtrics is Completed as Firm is 'Taken Private' at a Final Value of $4.3 Billion."

The acquisiton was led by private equity firm Silver Lake and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), with additional participation from three other firms that pumped an additional $1 billion into the "new" Qualtrics at the closing of the acquisition, specifically

  • Accel (a global venture capital firm) made a $500 million investment,
  • BDT & MSD Partners (a merchant bank) made a $250 million investment, and
  • DFO Management (the family investment office of Michael Dell) also made a $250 million investment.

From a historical basis, the reason why almost all publicly traded companies are taken private via an acquistion by a private equity and/or investment firm is because the acquirors "... believe they can drive a significant boost in the perceived value of the firm."

Hence, as I wrote in June,

"This being the case, I would not be surprised to see an additional Reduction in Force at Qualtrics sometime in the coming six to 12 months in an effort to further reduce expenses and "right-size" the firm."

Clearly, that has now happened.

It should be noted that prior to this "take private" transaction, Qualtrics announced its plans to lay-off ~270 employees earlier in the year, as reported on 11 January 2023 in its 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Given that Qualtrics had over 5,300 employees as of March 31 (according to Qualtrics' last quarterly report as a public company),

Qualtrics has now reduced its headcount by over 18.5% since the beginning of the year.

Layoff Thoughts & My Encouragement to Former Qualtrics Employees

As someone who has been laid-off a number of times in his career, the last occurring just 10 months ago, I can say from personal knowledge the experience is not fun, whatsoever.

That said, the reality is that the unemployment rate in Utah remains at under 3%.

In practical terms,

"What that means is that for every person looking for a job in Utah right now, there are two job openings today."

In other words, as much as it sucks to be told, in essence, we don't want you anymore, the reality is that there are a lot of Utah-based firms looking for new employees.

So hang in there, you former Qualtric-ians. The opportunities are out there.

Take a moment or two, or a week or two, to hunker down and lick-off your wounds. And then get back after it.


P.S.  One Last Thought

I am not convinced that Qualtrics is done right-sizing, whether through future layoffs or corporate demands that will lead employees to choose to leave the firm voluntarily.

Case in point, as I went back and reread yesterday's companywide email from CEO Serafin, I was struck again by these (and other) phrases:

  • "several hundred roles are changing or moving locations over the next year." [Emphasis added]
  • "The changes we’re making—which touch every team at the company" and
  • "... result (in) an organizational structure ..."

So, do not be surprised if six months from now Qualtrics' global headcount has been reduced to roughly 4,000 people, which would be a cumulative loss of ~25% of its employee base since 31 March 2023.

But ... we shall see.