Carvana, an online used car dealership in the United States, laid off 2,500 employees, many of them on Zoom, on Tuesday. The company said the laid-off employees were mostly in “operational positions” which make up about 12% of Carvana’s workforce.
An email sent to employees by CEO Ernie Garcia reportedly showed slower-than-expected growth. Carvana announced a net loss of $260 million in the first quarter and its share price is down more than 84% since the start of the year.
Rumors circulated on social media that the message used to fire employees during a Zoom call was pre-recorded. However, the company has refuted these claims.
Some workers who lost their jobs told CBS MoneyWatch that they heard nothing directly from their managers at Carvana and that they were first told by mail from Garcia and were quickly kicked out of the network. of the company. They later received text messages telling them to attend a Zoom meeting where a woman informed them of their dismissal.
Rage on social media
Leigh Frantz, who was also made redundant, said she had no direct contact with officials about the loss of her job. She added that they weren’t allowed to ask questions on the Zoom call and the woman appeared to be reading a pre-written script. “It was so disrespectful,” she told CBS MoneyWatch.
Another user took to Twitter to express his disbelief. “You just kicked us out of a zoom meeting and said ‘have a great day’ at the end,” the user wrote on Twitter. “I’m so disgusted with how this was handled,” he added.
“One of Carvana’s slogans is ‘Treat customers like you would treat your own mother,’ and we weren’t treated that way as employees,” said former employee Jay Romero, 30. who worked with Carvana for over two years. as reported by CBS News.
The company’s explanation
According to a report by the Protocol news agency, a spokesperson for Carvana said “less than half” of the layoffs were made via Zoom and that the company “had as many conversations as possible in person.” The exact number of employees who were terminated on Zoom and who were terminated in person is still unknown. The recent macroeconomics and auto retail recession have been cited as reasons for the company’s slow growth. which prompted him to take the decision to reduce his workforce.
Additionally, in a regulatory filing, Carvana said its executives were forgoing salary for the remainder of the year to help pay for severance pay for terminated employees.
Mass layoffs via Zoom
Several incidents of mass layoffs on video conferencing platforms have been reported lately. Zoom’s layoff of TripActions in 2020 and Better.com’s webinar layoff late last year are two such incidents. With the market slowing, more layoffs are expected as many companies have slowed their hiring.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)