back to article A Christmas classic: Cloudera founder asks staff to stay another day

Cloudera founder Mike Olson has asked staffers to turn down recruiters' advances ahead of the firm's merger with Hortonworks – despite acknowledging there could be layoffs. The former competitors in the Hadoop market are gearing up for a shareholder vote on the deal at the end of the month, and Cloudera is aiming to smooth …

  1. Dave 15

    take the job

    Never sit and hope, really, such a stupid idea to ask people to remain. As usual the good guys will be the first to secure new positions.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: take the job

      We hired you because we need you – the work you do matters to Cloudera today.

      But not tomorrow.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: take the job

      Absolutely. There is no doubt that the merger will see those same employees punted out without so much as a "thank you for your efforts".

      If you are in the situation of having someone asking you to come to them, knowing that in a few months at best you'll be out of a job, why wait ?

      Corporate gratitude does not exist. Management wants them to stay so that management can get their bonuses and not have too much hassle. Once the merger is done, then management will throw those precious employees to the wolves without a second thought.

      So no hesitation. Jump that sinking ship.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: take the job

        So no hesitation. Jump that sinking ship.

        I used to think the same. After "enjoying" two mergers in two year I have a slightly different opinion.

        MAXIMIZE YOUR REVENUE. Screw every single penny you can out of the deal because let's face it, the merger is designed to SCREW YOU.

        And THEN, leave.

    3. tmTM

      Re: take the job

      Please stay so we can sack you tomorrow.

      How about no??

  2. Bloodbeastterror

    In the early nineties I worked for a national supermarket which took over a smaller chain, involving massive rewrites of the systems to enable a smooth merger. The smaller chain's employees worked long days and weekends to meet the deadlines, knowing that their jobs would be gone by the time they finished. Consummate professionals - I had enormous respect for their ability and dedication.

    I was in the coffee room one day with a senior manager who brushed their work aside. He never offered any bonuses or even thanks to this great team.

    Once a company has shown its true colours, there is no benefit in continuing to support it. Get out while you can.

  3. Spazturtle Silver badge

    ""I would like each of you give us the time we require to do a thorough job. We hired you because we need you – the work you do matters to Cloudera today.""

    OK but what do the employees get out of it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A warm fuzzy feeling that won't pay the bills.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I dunno... personally I'm not sure that anger at having been conned into supporting a company that asked for, then exploited your loyalty, decency and professionalism before throwing you to the wolves without even showing an ounce of gratitude in return counts as "a warm fuzzy feeling".

  4. James 51 Silver badge

    We're actively looking at ways to preserve jobs where it makes business sense to do so

    You would certianly hope so. Of course a sentance with the same meaning is we'll swing the axe hard where it makes business sense to do so. This is basically a plea from someone on the top of the pile to keep the company viable long enough for them to get paid and offering nothing in return.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "We're actively looking at ways to preserve jobs where it makes business sense to do so"

      Mutters under breath "that'll be my job taken care of". Smiles entirely unconvincingly at the rest.

      Seriously, who'd work for someone as blatant as that. Does he not care what he's saying? Does he even realise what he's saying.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    a spate of people leaving of their own accord could rock the boat with shareholders or Wall Street and distract from handling the merger.

    People leaving is highly unlikely to affect the vote unless shareholders are not really convinced that it makes sense. Usually they love mergers because it means less competition and fewer monkeys to pay.

  6. Alex Read

    If the top brass at the places I 'd worked for tried that, it'd piss me off enough that I'd search for new employment right away whether approached or not.

    Guarantee my damn job, or shut your trap as my next move is none of your damn business until I tell you about it. Everyone needs to look out for themselves/#1, just as that moronic, slimy turd speaking is!

  7. short a sandwich

    Loyalty bonus for staying to the end or I'm out of here.

  8. LordHighFixer

    We're actively looking at ways to preserve jobs where it makes business sense to do so

    And if you are in one of those positions you already know it.

    Take the offer, but time it so you can also get whatever severance pittance they give you. Squeeze them and squeeze them hard. Time to start forwarding important e-mails, making copies of all your work, and all the things you would do in hindsight had you known it was coming. Because you know it is.

    In a perfect world they would be giving you the whole we wish we could keep you speech, and detailing your severance the day before you are scheduled to start your new job.

  9. sambaynham

    It depends on the company whether it's worth it or not.

    I decided to leave a workplace. I was contracted with a one-month notice period, and they couldn't find/train anyone in that time, so I stayed for three months and recruited my replacement. The reference I got out of that is directly responsible for getting me more than one job. If the company's going to do right by you, it's sometimes worth putting in the extra grind. (Also, I didn't want my baby to be thrown over by the SEO snakeoil company whose involvement in the project triggered my decision to leave.)

    1. Kernel

      Re: It depends on the company whether it's worth it or not.

      "I decided to leave a workplace. I was contracted with a one-month notice period, and they couldn't find/train anyone in that time, so I stayed for three months and recruited my replacement. "

      Yes, that can be a good move if it suits your plans - but there's a big difference between staying on for a couple of extra months to help out a company operating in 'business as usual' mode, as opposed to turning down a viable job offer so you can stay to the bitter end at a company that's not only up for sale but has already indicated that there will be redundancies should the sale go ahead.

      One is a good idea, the other is generally a very bad idea.

  10. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "Idiots dare everything. That's how we recognise them"

  11. Jay Lenovo Silver badge

    Where the wild things are

    "We're actively looking at ways to preserve jobs where it makes business sense to do so"

    Where as before we were quite silly, and just hired to hire folk.

    No, the ax swings without pity and severance is just a pittance to keep the gore of it all from public view.

    Tread carefully, as merger execs are wild creatures.

  12. brizo2478

    You cant pay bills with gratitude

    Anyone who recived this and thinks they should stay if they have an offer on the table is nuts..

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Companies don't give a damn about you. You're a number on a spreadsheet, an expense, a human 'resource'. They take you in, chew you up and spit you out with their only thought being towards the shareholders / what will get them to IPO / attractive buyout prospective so senior management can earn a fortune.

    To the C-level execs of this world, those of us at the coal face, even junior management, are nothing more than cattle that costs them. A cost they are told they need to bear to bear product, but once they have what they want the axe starts falling. Or they find cheaper cattle in lands beyond the sea whose silage costs a fraction of the price.

    Hang on for any redundancy / severance you can, but keep the recruiters on standby.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the work you do matters to Cloudera today.

    This would make a great tug-line for the business, something along the lines of

    The work you do matters to Cloudera today!

    You do not matter for Cloudera tomorrow!

  15. The_Idiot

    A small...

    ... amendment:

    "In cases where we must terminate positions (which, of course won't be, like, _ours_, as we're, like, _important_, not like you), we will put reasonable (from the perspective of our accountants, and, more importantly, the bonus I'm going to get after this) plans, including severance packages (because some bloody stupid laws say we sort of have to, but we're spending a really, really large amount of money on lawyers to see if we can get out of it), in place to ease the transition for those affected (which is us, not you. After all, you'll be gone, and we'll still be here)."

  16. EastFinchleyite

    Time to go

    As soon as your company starts talking about a merger it is time to consider moving on.

    Successful, vibrant companies grow and become more successful by increasing their business and/or by buying out smaller rivals. When two companies consider a merger it is because neither has the strength to buy the other and neither is confident of life on its own.

    They are losers. Best go work for a winner.

  17. Long John Brass Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Of course I'll stay ...

    As a contractor; My rate is really unreasonable :)

  18. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I've seen a business get rid of staff one or two at a time and realised that if those got rid of had got together they had the collective knowledge to start quite a good business for themselves. WHen the writing's on the wall so publicly I'd have thought that would be a reasonable approach to take.

    Today's employment costs can become tomorrow's competitors.

  19. JohnFen Silver badge

    Business sense

    ""We're actively looking at ways to preserve jobs where it makes business sense to do so," he said in the memo, which was published with the SEC.

    [...]

    "While we work through this period, I would like each of you give us the time we require to do a thorough job. We hired you because we need you – the work you do matters to Cloudera today.""

    My suggestion to Cloudera employees: give them time only for as long as it makes business sense for you to do so.

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