Remote work is easy. Remote hiring is hard.
Good morning! This Wednesday, tech companies are slowly figuring out remote hiring, a merger moratorium proposal, and a financial scandal … in Animal Crossing.
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Other tech companies should leap to integrate Apple and Google's exposure-notification tech, Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber said:
Sundar Pichai told Alphabet employees that the company's back-to-work plan is … well, there is no one plan:
After learning more about how the company handles its private-label brands, Josh Hawley is ready to pick a big antitrust fight with Amazon:
Layoffs are still coming in droves and companies are still figuring out how to weather the economic storm — but many of them are also starting to think about how to move forward.
Patel told me that most workers have been comfortable with the idea of remote work for a long time. Companies are the ones that held up the process:
From a hiring perspective, he said, remote interviews are actually the easy part. "How do you onboard? How do you do professional development? All the post-hire stuff, which does require interaction — I think that stuff has not been figured out yet."
Once the pandemic ends, the work world will tilt back toward the way it was — but maybe not all the way back. "I've not heard anyone say that this is a net negative," Patel said. Everyone's talking about the new normal, he added, not the old one.
Roger Lee has always tracked layoffs. He's an entrepreneur, currently the co-founder of Human Interest, and has found layoff lists to be a good source of talent.
So when coronavirus hit, and it became obvious that layoffs were going to be everywhere, Lee registered the domain Layoffs.fyi and spent a weekend building a way to track them all.
Layoffs.fyi also has a section for companies still hiring, and Lee hopes his site can quickly become more than just a catalog of horrible news.
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No more concerts. No more date nights. No more mergers? The coronavirus has a lot of rules, and they just keep coming. The latest: Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed a ban on corporate mergers during the pandemic.
Their proposal warns that "private equity is planning to jump at the cheap opportunities," and that "big tech has moved to snatch up struggling start-ups."
The new proposal joins a similar call for a merger moratorium from House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee chair David Cicilline earlier this week.
These sorts of progressive proposals have effectively shaped the policy debate around tech for the past two years, Emily notes.
TripAdvisor laid off more than 900 employees — about 25% of its staff — and closed its offices in Boston and San Francisco. CEO Steve Kaufer told his staff: "Sometimes, the most valiant of efforts aren't enough to counter outside circumstances and, as a public company, it is our responsibility to adjust, adapt and evolve to the environment that surrounds us."
Amazon hired ad exec Maggie Zhang to run its OTT measurement and research. Amazon's extremely interested in taking a bite out of the TV ad business, and figuring out how to better measure streaming is a big part of that.
Thuan Pham, Uber's longtime CTO, is leaving the company. Uber's also reportedly planning cuts of up to 20% of its staff, as it tries to cope with the massive dropoff in ride-sharing.
Okta hired David Bradbury as its new CSO. He comes from Symantec, where he held the same job.
Bitly CEO Mark Josephson has left the company. For now, he said, he's "focused on advising, mentoring and decompressing a bit."
Some big economic news: The Bank of Nook, which funds the world of Animal Crossing, slashed interest rates after players were taking advantage of a loophole in the system. (And you thought we were only going to talk about surprising markets inside games once this week!) Anyway, chaos ensued. The Financial Times has the rundown, featuring users worried about recession and quantitative easing inside the game. There's really a lot to learn about real-world economics from Animal Crossing, including one key point: If you can time travel, you can pretty much always get really, really rich.
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