I’m employed at a B2B web startup in London for the past 7 months. Recently, we were told that the company was running out of money and costs had to be cut in order to give the company a few more months to live, so a few of the staff were let go. While this is often an unfortunate fact of life in startups, I believe in our case it was easily avoidable.
The CEO is really inconsistent and impulsive in their management style, and prone to making rash decisions. For example, we expanded way too quickly, opening satellite offices before making any revenue, and we were too flippant about the sales pipeline, treating leads as if they were “in the bag” when they were anything but. This is especially dangerous as we trade in a highly vertical market, with comparatively few players, huge switching costs and capital expenditure required on the part of customers, so it requires a lot of coaxing and help to get their business.
Our CEO is also unable to properly delegate and frequently meddles in different departments without going through the proper channels. They seem to think every idea they have is a great one and should be implemented immediately, which I think has led to staff suffering from change fatigue and has creates a general sense of unfairness as ideas are often not selected on merit but the seniority of the person who made them.
The business development folks have tweaked the sales process to try and save our bacon, but the only changes I’ve seen are to charge more for the same product offering, so I don’t know how successful that will be.
I’ve decided to wait until the end of next month to see how things are going and give the new strategy some time to get to work, but if I had my choice, I’d leave today. Morale and motivation seems to have drained out of the company and all of us have plans in our own lives we would like to be getting on with. But, this is very difficult when your employer is circling the drain and you feel guilty about leaving because of the distraction and stress it will cause the business.
What would you do? Thanks.