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CEO of Cloudflare Responds to “Painful” Video of Girl Being Fired

Source: TikTok/@brittanypeachhh

Most people would prefer not to remember when their bosses let them go from a company, but this girl recorded the moment the CEO of Cloudflare fired her. After the clip went viral with both positive and negative comments from the public, the CEO broke his silence about the recording. This is what he had to say.

A Regular Turnover

According to Matthew Prince, this firing was one of about 40 that the company had to do out of a potential hiring batch of 1,500 people. Prince says these firings happen at every company, and they try to be sensitive about letting people go.

Source: Twitter/x / Wikipedia

According to Prince, the firings happened to sales employees who were part of their latest batch but weren’t pulling their weight at the organization. He noted that this was standard for an organization of their size.

The Clip in Question

The clip, which went viral and put Cloudflare and Prince under the microscope, was posted by Brittany Pietsch. She said that she was let go by the company without any reason or explanation for the sacking.

Source: TikTok/alexyardigans

She obviously knew something was up since she made sure to record the fallout of the meeting, where the CEO and company heads let them go. The clip was entitled, “POV: You’re about to get laid off.”

Not Meeting Expectations for Performance

The clip, which is around nine minutes long, was recorded without the knowledge and consent of the staff at Cloudflare. It detailed a meeting between Pietsch, other released employees, and HR personnel.

Source: TalentEgg/Hatching Graduate Careers

In the video, it’s clearly stated that she was being laid off because she didn’t meet the expectations for performance at Cloudflare. Pietsch was shocked at this since she said she had the highest activity within her team.

Audiences Unsure What To Make Of It

As with most things on social media, people were divided in their opinions. One social media commenter noted that both getting fired and doing the firing is tough, and Cloudflare seemed to have dropped the ball. But so did Pietsch.

Source: Twitter/X

Other commenters were more supportive of Pietsch’s position. A few of her told her she was doing the right thing, and they were proud of her. Others told her many had seen the video and how she handled it.

Asking For Answers

The video is hard to watch for anyone who has been let go from a company. In it, Pietsch exchanges pleasantries with the HR representative and someone from management. They then give her the bad news.

Source: Flickr/Andrew Forgrave

For the rest of the video, she asks them about the real reason the company was firing her. She also cites that throughout her employment, her supervisor didn’t have anything negative to say about her work.

The Truth Hurts

The only response Pietsch gets from the company representatives is that she failed to meet expectations. That includes, they state, closing sales. However, Pietsch was having none of their runaround.

Source: Flickr/ashley rose

She notes that she was the most active of her team and that she is almost certain that Cloudflare hired more employees than they could support and now has to fire them because they can’t afford to keep them employed.

Standing Up For Herself

The video is unique in showing Pietsch as not just another accepting fire who has to go find a new job. It shows her as someone who wants answers for her current situation. Answers that she almost begs the company to give her.

Source: Flickr/Twentyfour Students

Tellingly, the HR representative sidestepped her question about over-hiring and told her they were willing to follow up with their assessment. However, they didn’t bring the data with them, almost like they expected no one to ask.

Ruining Young People’s Lives

Pietsch doesn’t pull any punches, and through her entire grilling of the pair in front of her, she lets them have a piece of her mind. She tells them it’s easy for them to meet people in 10-15 minute meetings and tell them they’re fired.

Source: Flickr/muriloyamanaka

But the person on the other end of that firing is a young person who may have to face an uphill battle for the rest of their lives. They don’t even know what they did wrong to be fired in the first place.

A Slap in the Face

Pietsch explains to the two company representatives that she had given her energy to a company she wanted to believe in over the last few months. Being let go in this manner was like a slap in the face.

Source: Flickr/ Cult Gigolo

The pair in front of her acknowledged how she was feeling but also pointed out that they could do nothing to make her feel any different. The situation was unchangeable, and she would be let go anyway.

Bad Handling of Firing Could Sink a Company

The video is relatively straightforward. It didn’t feel like the company was giving much thought to having to let go of Pietsch and her peers. She bore up relatively well after they told her they were letting her go.

Source: Flickr/Florida Fish and Wildlife

Yet the underlying issue is that of how the company dealt with it. The entire situation could have used more human compassion than was shown to the employees in the video. It’s something CEO Prince addressed in his own response.

No Outsourcing Should Have Been Done

Prince firmly believed the company had done the right thing in letting the employees go. He stated that the company could usually tell within the first three months of their employment if they would be an asset to the company.

Source: Flickr/Ross

However, he was adamant that the company could have done better in dealing with the employees. He says the entire situation felt like the company was outsourcing his downsizing instead of dealing with it themselves.

A More Humane Method of Letting People Go

Prince continued stating that his company aimed to be more humane when they had to let people go. He adamantly denied that Pietsch was let go because the company hired too many employees.

Source: Flickr/Adam Freidin

However, since the company would continue these cycles of hiring and firing, he felt that it was in the company’s best interest to improve how they dealt with the situation. They should be more humane in their firing practices, he noted.

Not 100% Efficient At Hiring

To address the questions raised by Pietsch about her firing, Prince stated that the company is not 100% efficient at finding good hires. The issue is always finding people matching their goals and company culture.

Source: Flickr/Karen

To this end, there will always be people that don’t fit in with the company. Keeping them on may damage the company spirit, and it’s better for productivity to let them go. Underperformance was another reason he said that new hires may be let go.

Finding a Better Place For Your Skills

Prince underlined that not every hire is a good fit for his team, and it’s up to the managers to work out who should stay and who should go. He framed letting these employees go as helping them find their fit in the world.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He also agreed that his company needs to do better as they go along to make employees who are let go more aware of what they’re being let go for. The lack of transparency leads to distrust from the former employees.

Shining a Light On Hiring and Firing Practices

Regardless of whether Cloudflare improves its processes or not, one thing is clear. Businesses like these don’t seem to value departing employees for the reasons for their firing. It also shows the lack of care this particular HR team had for the former employees.

Source: Flickr/James Allenspach

No one can say for sure whether this was a one-time incident or the company has been doing this for so long that it has become a habit, but the approach was tone-deaf. Pietsch’s video highlighted things that occur in many companies today.

A Hirer’s Market

Part of the reason this may be more widespread than anyone can dream is because of the current job market. With such a massive influx of new talent in the workplace, it’s easy to find replacements for a position.

Source: Flickr/ Wayne MacPhail

In such a case, hiring too many employees and having them compete for a spot is the perfect way for a company to find the best talent they can land. Unfortunately, the employees are expendable.

Negotiating in Good Faith

Most employees who enter jobs with companies as big as Cloudflare expect the business to negotiate in good faith. They expect their supervisors not to sugarcoat their feedback, and they will be told what needs to be changed.

Source: Flickr/ Flazingo Photos

Pietsch’s experience mirrors many employees today, and the only reason it has garnered any response is because it was recorded for everyone to see. Will this change how companies treat their new hires? Only time will tell.

What Does This Leave For the Employees?

The sales departments in tech companies are always hiring, so these employees may simply have to compete with others in the market. Without feedback from HR, however, they don’t know what they might have done wrong.

Source: Flickr/Nestle

Pietsch’s video has made her an instant internet celebrity, and many companies may be impressed with her approach to the situation. This setback might likely help her to find the place she fits, after all.

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Charlotte Clad

Written by Charlotte Clad

Charlotte Clad is a brilliant writer who possesses the remarkable ability to craft content that goes viral and leaves an indelible mark on readers. With an innate passion for storytelling and an unwavering commitment to her craft, Charlotte has consistently pushed the boundaries of creativity to captivate audiences worldwide.

As a prolific writer, Charlotte has the rare gift of turning ordinary subjects into viral phenomena. Her articles and narratives resonate deeply with readers, igniting discussions and spreading rapidly across the digital landscape. Charlotte's work has not only garnered millions of views but has also sparked enduring conversations, establishing her as a respected and influential figure in the realm of viral content.

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