A tipster writes in with a first-person account of what's happening inside LinkedIn — and it's not pretty.
A manager interrupting a report's search for a job outside of linkedIN by calling his connections with prospective employers and telling them not to hire
An employee told by her manager that she needed to choose between her job and her family, or LinkedIN was not the place for her
An employee physically accosted by his manager's wife, and then fired when asking HR for help resolving the issue
Each of these things has happened at LinkedIN over the past few months; Each of the managers involved has been a recent hire, brought in by Dan Nye to manage long-time LinkedIN teams. What happened? How did LinkedIN middle management get to such a state?
The answer is obvious: By concentrating on growth, and only growth, LinkedIN has exploded to almost three hundred employees in the last year. think about that: people who have been at linkedin less than 9 months outnumber people who have been there more than 9 months by almost two to one.
This means that LinkedIN is undergoing an identity crisis internally. Deathly afraid of looking weak, or having made the wrong decision, upper management has closed ranks, ruthlessly squashing individual contributors who rock the boat, or even question bad hiring decisions. And, lets face it, Dan Nye's hyperbole about only hiring ' the best' aside, any time a company goes on a rapid hiring binge, like LinkedIN has, there are bound to be mistakes.
But is LinkedIN cutting off its nose to spite its face by taking draconian measures to keep its employees quiet? When an operations employee warns an executive that a new director's bad technical decisions will result in an outage within the next six to eight months, should that executive investigate the issues, or tighten ranks, and dismiss the employee? Obvious, right? And yet, LinkeDIN appears to have made the wrong decision; any issue brought to HR is immediately brought to LinkedIN's legal team, who appear to be resolving the issues based on whether the complaint is feasibly actionable, and whether the employee in question can be threatened into silence. Ouch!
One thing that might explain it is that LinkedIN is attempting to coast to the end game, and is not looking beyond IPO or acquisition. Because, let's face it - rumors flying of bad technical and personnel choices hurt the bottom line. But the rank-and-file attitude at LinkedIN has changed over the past year from 'we're all in this together' to 'I need to keep my head down until the IPO'
Fortunately, LinkedIN has a good brand, one that has a lot of value. And that can make up for a lot of bad choices. But at the end of the day, will the disastrous expansion LinkedIN cause it to wobble completely out of control?