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Why are some companies so secretive about their layoffs?

April 24th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Lately I start to hear from fellow readers about unannounced layoffs. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Juniper Networks quietly started laying people off in January.  Most of the layoffs the reader knew about were in Engineering and IT, and a large number of them were in management roles.
  • Amazon.com had also laid off employees in their Seattle headquarter although they call it “re-org”. After I posted “Is Amazon.com laying off people secretly”, one reader commented “Yes I was one of the "re-org" victims. Worked on product management at Amazon Services.” I have also heard from people who worked in software development in Seattle who got laid off.

One reader also shared his insights about why some companies are secretive about their layoffs: “Companies might be able to avoid officially announcing layoffs if they quietly spread them across several months.  Sometimes keeping layoffs quiet is very important to some companies, especially if the company is going to pay bonuses or do an acquisition, or continue to do "key" hiring.  None of those things will get you good press after you just laid off a lot of employees.

Excellent resources:

Tags: News

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Prats // Apr 25, 2009 at 2:27 am

    I fully agree withy you on this. You would however find exceptions to this though. I have been fortunate to work with Sun Microsystem. Sun has always been transparent and open about its re-org a.k.a layoffs. Though I am oner of the impacted employee I ave all praise for Sun and hope that it start shining again….

  • 2 tvduan // Jan 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Juniper is very “secretive” with its management strategies and poor communication exists throughout the entire company. Be prepared!

  • 3 GeekMBA360 // Jan 11, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Thanks for your comment!

    I think I saw somewhere that Juniper is one of the best companies to work for. Is it the case or not? I tend to be skeptical about those lists. Your comment only added to my skepticism. 🙂

  • 4 tvduan // Jan 14, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Hi GeekMBA360, last year they made it in the Forbes top 100 companies to work for and I think the employees that were interviewed were probably those that are well compensated and are mostly manager level. Management seems to be in favor with a certain cultural group (I don't need to mention which specific one). Do you ever hear Juniper layoffs in the news? Cisco, Sun, Lockheed Martin, Yahoo and many other big companies announce their layoffs so why not Juniper? It's like Juniper has to hide something from the public.

  • 5 tvduan // Jan 14, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Hi GeekMBA360, last year they made it in the Forbes top 100 companies to work for and I think the employees that were interviewed were probably those that are well compensated and are mostly manager level. Management seems to be in favor with a certain cultural group (I don't need to mention which specific one). Do you ever hear Juniper layoffs in the news? Cisco, Sun, Lockheed Martin, Yahoo and many other big companies announce their layoffs so why not Juniper? It's like Juniper has to hide something from the public.

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