Payment services company Xsolla has reportedly fired 150 of its employees, with workers in the company’s office in Perm, Russia being terminated based on big data analysis of their activity (via Game World Observer).
Making the situation worse, Xsolla CEO and founder Aleksandr Agapitov sent an email to the affected employees explaining the decision, revealing that they had been let go because they had been tagged as “unengaged and unproductive employees.”
A translated version of the email reads as follows:
“You received this email because my big data team analyzed your activities in Jira, Confluence, Gmail, chats, documents, dashboards and tagged you as unengaged and unproductive employees. In other words, you were not always present at the workplace when you worked remotely.
“Many of you might be shocked, but I truly believe that Xsolla is not for you. Nadia and her care team partnered with seven leading HR agencies, as we will help you find a good place, where you will earn more and work even less. Sasha will help you get a recommendation, including the one from myself. And Natalia will read you your rights.
“Once again, thank you for your contribution. If you want to stay in contact with me, please write me a long letter about all your observations, injustice, and gratitude.”
This prompted immediate and predictable backlash: both for the layoffs themselves and for the tone of the email. According to ProPerm.ru, the company is investigating to find the employee who leaked the email.
Following the layoffs, Agapitov held a press conference in which he explained that the mass layoffs were caused by the fact that the company has stopped showing 40% growth. Agapitov provided further details, including that the total number of laid-off employees could total 40% of the company’s headcount across all of its offices.
Following the press conference, Agapitov incited further controversy with a Tweet that roughly translates to “Work your fucking ass off or get your fucking ass out.”
Speaking with Forbes Russia, Agapitov revealed that 60 of the affected employees might stay with the company following discussions with their managers, while those who have been let go will keep their medical insurance and receive medical pay equal to four to six monthly salaries.