Earlier today, CircleCI CEO Jim Rose sent the following email to CircleCI employees.

Hi all,

Today, I am announcing some difficult news for our team. We are reducing our CircleCI workforce by 17% and parting ways with teammates we value and respect tremendously.

It was very hard to make this decision, and I know that it will be even harder for those who are leaving our organization. If you are among those impacted, within the next 20 minutes, you will receive an invitation to a 1:1 meeting with a senior CircleCI leader. These will be sent to your personal email.

To those who are leaving CircleCI today, I am deeply sorry. My main priority right now is to do the very best we can for our departing teammates; they truly deserve our gratitude and support. There are more details below on how we plan to support them, but first, let me share more about how we got here.

What changed?

Our long-term outlook remains positive; our business serves a critical need for engineering teams, and we expect investment in automation and developer efficiency to rise over time. Right now, however, there is a ripple effect of uncertainty in our sector. Since the start of Q4, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how every company’s performance is evaluated. Companies were once praised for growth at all costs. Very rapidly, market expectations have shifted. The emphasis now is on maximizing efficiency.

We’ve taken steps throughout this past year to acclimate to this new economic reality: closely managing our spend, slowing our hiring efforts, operating with a reasonable valuation, and re-prioritizing our time and investments. We hoped these actions would allow us to avoid this difficult decision. But, like other companies around us, we’re not immune to the market, and bigger changes were needed.

For those leaving CircleCI, here’s what you can expect:

  • Final day: For departing employees, officially, your final day of employment will be December 15, and you will be paid through that day. There is no expectation for impacted employees to work after today.
  • Severance benefits: All impacted employees will be offered a separation package, including a minimum of 12 weeks of base pay for all departing employees. If you’ve worked here for 3+ years, you will get an additional two weeks of severance for every additional year of employment starting with year 3. For example, if you’ve worked here for 3 years, you will receive 14 weeks of severance.
  • Health benefits: We want to limit the burden of employee healthcare costs, which we understand are top of mind for many. For US employees enrolled in CircleCI’s health plan, your health benefits continue through the end of December, and we will pay for your continued coverage through COBRA for an additional 6 months. Non-US employees will receive the equivalent of 6 months of health coverage in line with our in-region benefits. In addition, anyone who has not yet used their annual Wellness stipend will have this amount added to their final pay.
  • Equity: We are dropping the one-year cliff requirement for stock options for everyone we’ve hired in the past year. This is so that everyone departing, regardless of how long they have been at CircleCI, has the opportunity to be a shareholder. We will also extend our standard post-termination exercise period from 90 days to 5 years, meaning impacted employees don’t have to make a decision about their equity until December 2027. All impacted teammates will vest through December 15, 2022.
  • Bonus: If you are eligible for a FY23 (2022) bonus, we will assume 100% attainment of your individual performance when calculating your final payout. You will still receive your prorated FY23 bonus in the same time frame as other CircleCI employees (March 2023).
  • Job placement support: Our goal is to ease the transition for impacted employees. We’ve engaged a service called Careerminds to support our departing teammates with career coaching, resume help, and job placement.
  • Equipment: You may keep your laptop (and any other office gear CircleCI provided, including monitors and chairs).

We know our departing teammates will have questions, and we’re here to answer them. Our people partners and HR team are available to help impacted employees. Thank you for everything you’ve done to build CircleCI: you will always be valued members of our alumni community.

What’s next

When something of this magnitude happens, it’s not business as usual. The way we work will be different, and I know everybody will need direction, clarity, and reassurance about the road ahead.

I’ll be reiterating the points above in an org-wide meeting on Thursday, December 8, at 9AM PT. We’ll leave much of that time for questions. Look out for a calendar invite with more information on that shortly.

Despite today’s news, we’re confident in our business. I believe we have the right strategy to succeed in the long term. We have the best CI/CD platform on the market by leaps and bounds. We see that success reflected in the continued growth of our business, adding thousands of high-performing engineering teams to our platform over the past 12 months. Our customers are some of the most innovative, engineering-centric businesses on the planet, and helping them do great work will continue to be our focus.

Thank you,