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Remarks by CEO Shaival Shah

July 28, 2022
/ by 
Shaival Shah and Wei Gan
Remarks by CEO Shaival Shah

Remarks made by CEO and cofounder Shaival Shah to the Ribbon team at an All Hands employee meeting on 7.28.2022.

The below are remarks made by CEO and cofounder Shaival Shah to the Ribbon team at an All Hands employee meeting this morning (7.28.2022).

Dear Team,

I wanted to gather the whole company together. We have experienced great days and tough days, but we have always experienced those together. It’s what has created our bonds, our resiliency and our compassion.

Today, I come to you with a very heavy heart and difficult news to share. We have made the decision to reduce the size of Ribbon’s workforce and align to a more focused strategy with a financial plan designed for the future. 

As you know, we have been living through a very significant shift in the market.  Last week, I shared that we were exploring various scenarios to adapt to the changing market conditions, including adjusting our team size and composition.  

As a leadership team, we have tried to delay this decision for as long as possible, but we are not immune to what we have been seeing elsewhere in the market. 

Later today, we have to say goodbye to 136 of our talented teammates. This decision was no fault of the team and was beyond the control of those impacted. 

As a leader, I take responsibility for this outcome. First, I don’t excuse this to market conditions alone. Doing so would fail to honor those impacted, and miss an opportunity that we can learn from. The market conditions exposed areas that need improvement across our product and team to evolve with the changing consumer. I am ultimately responsible to all those decisions and this decision, as a result.

I owe it to all of you to share why the company made this decision, how we approached reductions, and how we intend to care for our impacted teammates. Each step was considered and discussed in the service of compassion and dignity to those impacted. 

How was this decision made?

The market changes impacted our growth and that’s been the topic of discussion. But more important, it illuminated three realities:

  • How long this market volatility continues is uncertain. We need a financial plan that provides a clear achievable path to profitability.
  • The affordability crisis will change how people plan for homeownership.  We need to adapt our product suite with a more focused strategy.
  • The next phase of Ribbon will be more agile. We needed to define the team and systems to make this plan happen with operational excellence for the next several years.  

I want everyone to know that leadership and myself were involved in all aspects of the process.

This is the framework that we used to approached reductions:

 

  • We first reduced all unnecessary non-salary expenses to minimize team impact. This was paramount.
  • We mapped every person in the Company to the focused strategy and evaluated the strategic skills needed to solve our top priorities.  

How we intend to care for our impacted team members:

I take responsibility for all people that join Ribbon. My goal:

  • Maximize the emotional, professional and financial support to our impacted team; and to
  • Conduct changes with the compassion, respect and dignity this team deserves

We have put together transition packages, with the hope of thoughtfully supporting varying needs. Each departing team member will receive:

Cash Compensation and Benefits:

  • Two months of base salary, paid upfront
  • Three months of healthcare COBRA coverage to bridge into new opportunities. 
  • This will be effective Aug 1 to ensure August benefits are included

Equity Benefits

  • Option Exercise.  We will be extending the time to exercise shares from 90 days to one year to support fellow Ribbon shareholders
  • One-year Cliff Vesting.  We are removing the 1-year cliff for those nearing one year of Ribbon service (within 2 months of vesting)

Supporting in professional pursuits

  • Laptop. All departing team members will be able to keep their laptops to support their job search.
  • We will be providing job support and proactive introductions to our full network.
  • We will be offering career support and guidance

What to expect next:

Within an hour of the end of All Hands, everyone at Ribbon will receive an email informing them if they have or have not been impacted. Every impacted person will have an option to speak to a manager or colleague, part of a Care Team assembled, to speak in person. 

I know this feels like a painful way to receive this news. I am sorry for this. Our goal was to share this as a group and then to provide people space and privacy when impacted colleagues  were informed.  It is the main reason we asked that everyone work from home today - so everyone could receive this news privately in a place of their choosing.  

 

  • Our impacted team will have time to receive and process the news.  Followed by 1:1 time with their managers or senior leaders - at a time of their choosing. It is essential that we all respect this space and that emotions will be rightfully deep and wide ranging. 
  • For the team that will be staying at Ribbon, we ask for your patience as we fully focus on our impacted team today. We will reconvene tomorrow.
  • We will begin to transition systems for the impacted team shortly after this AH, but we will keep Slack open through the end of the day.  
  • I know it will be tough to connect with everyone, so I ask that we bring forward our Friday Slack tradition to share our gratitude to those impacted.  We have been built on empathy and appreciation and we have never needed it more than we do right now.  

In closing, I want to share my gratitude with you.  

I know this decision is challenging for a company like ours.  We are a very tight-knit group and bonds have formed everywhere. Everyone has contributed to that collective spirit. We’ve built memories and emotions together.  And I honor the emotions you must be feeling right now. 

To those who are impacted by this decision, I am deeply sorry.  Each of you brought love, passion and integrity to your work and directly helped progress our mission. I thank you for bringing your special talents to Ribbon.  And always know that you and your work mattered. You have our full commitment to support you into your next journey.   

To those that are not impacted, our greatest form of respect is to remind our parting teammates how they helped us grow, how they contributed meaningful value and how our support in their future journeys will always be available.    

To everyone, you are in my heart and I thank you for sharing your talents with all of us. 

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