back to article Salesforce flipflops from 'you're fired' to 'you're hired' in six short months

Salesforce supremo Marc Benioff has said the company plans to hire 3,300 new staff as it focuses on growth and margins – a little more than six months after the SaaS biz confirmed a 10 percent cull of its workforce. The remarkable U-turn in the staffing policy followed January's news that it would lose about 7,000 jobs "to …

  1. Alistair


    We done fired all the 'spensive folks what was costing us too much after they'd been here for too long. Now we have to hire a bunch of schoolkids at minimum wage to do all that work.

    We've seen where this goes.

    Be prepared for your salesforce cloud installs to suffer from certificate expiry, data encryption and exfiltration and backup failure in the near future.

    Oh, and don't expect the hacktivist exvestors to offer anything in the way of compensation.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: soooo

      And then there will be complaints from leading lights in the business world that productivity has nosedived since the pandemic and the fault is 1) WFH and 2) high salaries.

      Nothing to do with employee churn and losing the business knowledge that goes with that, no sir.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: soooo

        The Justice League Unlimited cartoon series had a clip where The Atom is looking for some stray nanomachine. That leads to the following conversation between him and his assistant.

        Atom: He's bigger than my car now, Katie. Personally, I blame you.

        Katie: How can it possibly be my fault?

        Atom: Because otherwise it would be my fault! That can't be right, I'm a professor!

        It's amazing how many and varied the applications are for that short little cold open scene are.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: soooo

      We are not planning on renewing our Salesforce contract when it ends next month. We are not a small customer either...

      1. EricB123 Silver badge

        Re: soooo

        "We are not planning on renewing our Salesforce contract when it ends next month. We are not a small customer either..."

        So the top story in tomorrow's El Reg is "In an amazing turnaround, Salesforce announces another round of layoffs!"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: soooo

      Certificate installation problems are not limited to the youth. I make a fortune out of renewing and deploying new certificates...even in 2023, for some reason, messing with certificates is seen by a lot of people as a black art.

      It's mostly shitty documentation that is the culprit with certificate that I mean the technical documentation.

      People start by Googling "how do I install an SSL certificate on NGINX" or something like that...then end up going down a rabbit hole of diagrams and jargon then just abandon ship when they crap their pants.

      The reality is, it's really just has scary docs.

    4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: The activist Investors

      won't like this 'hiring' thing. They are only interested in asset stripping, pumping the stock and cashing in before the rest of the world finds out.

      Activist investors are not really investors. They are scum but the US system promotes this sort of thing so what do you expect eh? Fairy dust?

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: The activist Investors

        A very likely outcome. Personally I'd be in favour of a law saying that an investor buying a company isn't allowed to saddle the bought company with ANY debt for that purchase (or any investment that is not for the betterment of the company itself). It's ridiculous that these vulture investors are allowed to do what they do and ruin companies this way.

  2. s. pam Silver badge

    Many companies have already realised...

    How badly they utterly fucked up sacking the very people in charge of strategy, operations and making new products. They did this instead of purging all the lowest performers, the slackers, the kinda-workers and boardrooms all over the world patted themselves on the back for job well done.

    Now those of us who got fucked are trying to land new gigs, before our monies run out.

    To all the companies out there involved in the abject fuckery 6 months ago, may you all crash and burn in shareholder hell.

    1. ariels-again

      Re: Many companies have already realised...

      "[P]eople in charge of strategy, operations and making new products"? Please... None of that affects Q-on-Q growth, the only metric that matters™️.

    2. clive1

      Re: Many companies have already realised...

      Or that being in Wall-to-Wall Zoom / Teams Meetings leaves no time to work on the things being discussed.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    There's nothing like looking as if you know what you're doing and ...

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "We know we have to hire thousands of people"

    It does not appear that you know diddly squat about what you're doing. You just fired thousands of people, now you say you know you have to hire ?

    Don't you have some kind of program that can give you indications on what your company needs ? Maybe you should use some of that.

    Oh, and just a question : is there a managers 101 where it states the wait time to look good between massive layoffs and announcing thousands of hires ? Because that manual needs amending : six months ain't half enough.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Business bullshit

    We've all seen this before .

    Restructure: staff cuts

    Business reasons: seems like a good Idea.


    1. clive1

      Re: Business bullshit

      Lessons have been learned..

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Business bullshit

      No, no, Restructure -> fire all the expensive, experienced "old" people, then hire incompetents PFYs to replace them.

      Business reasons: Because the investors want to extract more money before the company is inexorably squeezed dry.

  6. Tomato42

    Executive staff?

    What?! You mean just the excellence exuding from the executive staff doesn't cause the work to be done? Preposterous!

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Salesforce announced a slew of new technical features"

    Maybe they've suddenly realised they need somebody to create what they announced.

  8. aerogems Silver badge

    Corporate Culture

    This is one of the things that I really hate about modern corporate culture, and probably why I'd make for a horrible C-Suite exec. Each one of those numbers on some spreadsheet is a person's livelihood they're just causally discussing like it's of no more significance than the weather.

    And as another commentard alluded to, no doubt they won't be trying to rehire any of the people they laid off, but will instead go with primarily newly minted college grads who will work for peanuts and put in long hours without complaint. IMO, not that it's worth much on this matter, there needs to be a law mandating that companies have to offer the newly created positions to laid off workers before they can hire someone new. With stiff penalties if they are found to have half-assed it or not done it at all. They should be required to submit records showing they contacted every single employee laid off within the last year in the same general field, and at least offered to interview them for this new position. If the former employee already found a new job, fine, but if they were still looking they have to be considered first.

    If I'm not mistaken, in California in the States, if you lay someone off you're representing to the state, in a legal, under oath, capacity, that you no longer need that role and then cannot fill it for at least a year. Though, companies frequently get around it by just giving the old job a new title and maybe ever so slightly tweaking the duties. I saw it happen once. Boss' boss got laid off, then a month or two later they hired someone new for what was effectively the same job. Took over the same managerial role as the previous person and if you were to ask any random rank and file employee they'd tell you they were doing the exact same job. I like to think I had some small part in the person being laid off, since not only did they force one of their personal friends on both of their direct reports as a temp, then arranged to have that friend hired on in a part-time capacity, they then pressured her direct report (my manager) to fire me to make room for their friend full-time. I made sure to tip off the "ethics line" of the company about the nepotism, and it wasn't too much after that when a former colleague mentioned that the person had been laid off. So, in that one specific instance, I don't feel bad about the company replacing the person with someone younger and cheaper. But as a general rule, the state needs to do a much better job of cracking down on this kind of bullshit.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Corporate Culture

      Many states, mine included (MA) are "at will" employment, which means they can fire you at any time and don't have to give a reason. You can technically quit at any time, without notice, but you risk having a "no rehire" mark on your file at that company if you do.

      Also, most companies make you sign a document at time of hire, restricting your ability to work for competitors or clients for some period of time after you leave. It may or may not be legal, but they'll tie you up in court long enough to make it expensive for you.

    2. GoneFission

      Re: Corporate Culture

      Valuation of ethics in business practices and regulations against smash-and-grab profit seeking are diligently being worked on, and are slated to go into effect right after the latest greenwashing campaigns successfully avert climate collapse.

  9. MachDiamond Silver badge

    A board with no insight

    It is very odd that a company would need an across the company cut and 12 months later need to go on a massive hiring spree. Did they accumulate a bunch of dead wood and wish to get rid of it all at once instead of constantly culling people that don't contribute? Did they come up with some new and amazing new products/services that everybody is clamoring for and they need more staff to handle the rush? I think it more likely that they are intensely focused on spreadsheets and aren't doing any planning more than a month or two ahead.

    It makes sense to freeze hiring if it looks like tough times ahead. If those tough times are more abrupt, tighten up groups by letting a few people go and also looking at fixed costs. With the return to office push, some arguments are focused on expensive office leases that landlords aren't willing to break. That doesn't mean that office can't be vacated and a new, much less expensive office can take it's place outside of that hyper-expensive big city downtown. Yes, two rents, but the operational cost of the one being vacated might cost more than digs someplace else. Landlords are usually amenable to breaking a lease if there's another tenant that will take over the space. Sub-Leasing is also an option. The company leaving to save money could leave behind a set up with all of the office furniture since second hand office furniture has a negative value. All of the networking cable can be prettied up and some effort made marking and documenting the runs so the next occupant can just drop into place. Some of the switches and other hardware could also be left in place. The idea is to make the space extremely easy for some start-up flush with investor cash to be able to move in to the over-priced offices and be operational in days.

    This story has me thinking that looking at a company's employment moves over the last couple of years might be a great indicator of a board that can't see where they are and where they are going. It would be a warning to investing until they've shown more stability.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: A board with no insight

      It should also be a warning to prospective customers. And existing ones, come to that.

  10. clive1

    That didn't age well.. These aren't the Employees you're looking for.

    As some who's used SalesForce / OfficeSpace forums for many years they could probably hire a small team of four year old's to design and implement a better system.

    Somehow I suspect in this fire/hire s*it-show they are talking about distinctly different subsets in a skill-set venn diagram, or a complete fresh re-install method of system recovery, with total data loss.

    Need to make WFH work.

    Figure out management methods/structures for WFH employees.

    Do more with less, like X-Twitter and ARM/Acorn, some times efficiency is inversely proportional to engineering head count.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: That didn't age well.. These aren't the Employees you're looking for.

      I wouldn't call X-Twatter doing more with less... More like doing less with less.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Add a bit of QC to the +AI mix ;)

    0.5×(<hired| + <fired| )

    1. Richard Pennington 1

      Re: Add a bit of QC to the +AI mix ;)

      Surely the correct normalisation is (<hired| + <fired|) / √2, with an orthogonal form (<hired| - <fired|) / √2.

      Otherwise known as Schrödinger's staff. They don't know whether they are hired or fired until an external observer checks on them.

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