🎉 This CEO went undercover ☕

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Read time: 2.5 minutes

Good Afternoon Party People! 🎉

The government shutdown was averted. Taylor Swift attended another NFL game. And we have a party for you all!


Undercover boss

🎮 Epic layoffs

✖️ Degree requirements are no more

And, of course, MEMES!



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Undercover Boss

In preparation to take over the company, new Starbucks CEO, Laxman Narasimhan spent 6 months working as a barista.

He proceeded to make the same rookie mistakes that most new employees do, including burning his hand on a breakfast sandwich and somehow blowing up an egg bite when serving it to a customer (not sure how this happens). He even forgot how to process credit card payments on the register.

He also demanded a 20% tip from every customer (just kidding).

It appears Narasimhan made about every mistake in the book. But it’s cool to see a CEO roll up his sleeves and see what life is really like as an employee.

After his time as a barista, he decided that some changes needed to be made. These include:

  • Sending more breakfast sandwiches to stores

  • Changing the packaging on the egg bites

  • Cutting down on cup and lid combos

  • Reducing the number of corporate emails sent to stores

  • Increasing staffing levels, pay, and benefits

That’s a W for Starbucks!

Going forward, Narasimhan said he plans to work as a barista at least a half day every month.


Epic Layoffs…

Last week, Epic Games (you may know them as the creators of Fortnite) announced that they’ll be laying off 830 employees. This accounts for almost 1/6th of their workforce.

Unrealistic spending was cited as the reason for sudden layoffs. CEO Tim Sweeney believed that the company would make it without cutting headcount, but that is no longer the case. Labor costs generally account for 70% of total business costs, and it appears that Epic can’t justify keeping employees on staff.

I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect I see that this was unrealistic.

Epic Games CEO, Tim Sweeney

Sectors like recruiter, user experience, and employee engagement will be cut at Epic.

Laid off employees will receive a severance offer that includes six months of base pay, accelerated stock vesting and other benefits

The company is also in the middle of an expensive, years-long antitrust legal battle with Apple, which may also be a contributor to the layoffs.

The tech layoff count in 2023 is now 238,329.


No More Degree Requirements…

For many companies, degree requirements are becoming a thing of the past. And skill-based hiring is on the rise.

Now, Walmart is planning on scrapping degree requirements for many of its corporate jobs. The change from Walmart highlights a growing effort to eliminate unnecessary barriers to career advancement.

Talent acquisition leaders from Walmart said they will focus on rewriting job descriptions to allow for relevant skills as a replacement for a degree in various jobs. Walmart has committed to investing over $1 billion in career-driven training and development over the next 3 years.

“Walmart believes the U.S. workforce system needs to transition to a system that recognizes and understands skills in the same way it recognizes and understands college degrees.”

Here are the 5 ways Walmart is planning on carrying out this initative:

1. Offering more short-form certificates focused on new skills

2. Rewriting job descriptions to factor in skills

3. Gaining degree credits through learning on the job and at Walmart Academy training

4. Using technology to connect associates to career opportunities

5. Funding a skills-based ecosystem through Walmart.org

Cool to see a major company focus on skill-based hiring rather than simply looking at credentials.


Could We Fit?

Last week, Amazon announced that they'll be hiring 250,000 people this holiday season. We ran a poll to see if you all thought that 250k people could fit on Jeff Bezos’ new yacht.

77% said “Oh we’re fitting”

23% said “No way!”

So we asked ChatGPT…

We still think we could squeeze and make it work…


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