Security Staff Acquisition & Development

Cylance Layoffs 2017: Staff Cuts Are “Normal” At Growing Security Company?


Amid layoffs at Cylance Inc., the growing security company says the job cuts are a "normal part of balancing business needs" and company capabilities, according to the Orange County Business Journal. I'm not a fan of the statement.

Layoffs happen. I get it. In fact, I suffered a layoff from Ziff Davis in 2001. But never once did my former CEO say my job loss was a "normal part of balancing business needs." In Cylance's case, it sounds like the fast-growing company may have ramped up too quickly -- adding a reported 500 employees over the past year.

Whatever the case, a growing number of IT companies toss around euphemisms amid layoffs. IBM, for instance, constantly talks about "rebalancing" its workforce talent toward cognitive computing, big data, cloud, mobile and security services. Frankly, the statement is an insult to employees who are shown the door. IBM also dodges questions about its overall headcount cuts -- even as the company vows to hire 25,000 new U.S. employees in an apparent bid to win favor with President Trump.

Back at Cylance, the company has a growing partner program that includes solutions providers, OEMs, systems integrators and MSSPs. Channel buzz about the company has been quite strong over the past year. But I wish the company would refer to layoffs in proper terms.

Cutting headcount at a rapid growth company isn't "normal." Instead, it suggests something didn't quite go quite as expected. Executive management should admit exactly that, eat some crow, and strive to create a culture where staff cuts are the exception -- rather than a "normal part of balancing business needs..."

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.