January 20, 2023

Restructuring Prisma

Yesterday, CEO Søren Schmidt sent the following note to Prisma employees.

Restructuring Prisma

Upholding Prisma’s culture of openness and transparency, I come to you today with some difficult news. In an effort to adjust our GTM strategy and align our teams with future objectives, we have unfortunately had to make the challenging decision to decrease the size of our team. This decision will impact 28% of the Prisma team, which equates to 21 team members. Those affected have already been notified via personal and work email.

This was not an easy decision and one that I and the leadership team pined over a lot during the past few weeks. We went through a litany of options, but unfortunately, none of them would give us the flexibility, focus and stability that we need in order to continue to deliver on our ambition. The situation is far from ideal, but our chosen step is a necessary one in order to ensure a healthy Prisma moving forward.

I am assuming that the question “why?” is top of mind, so I’d like to address that. Three main reasons have contributed to requiring this action:

  • We grew our team size too aggressively in the commercial GTM functions
  • We ended up with functional redundancy across departments
  • The current macroeconomic conditions compel us to refocus thereby allowing us to emerge stronger and with laser focus

The rapid growth in team sizes across the board also led to operational challenges, which in turn led to us not being 100% aligned as we executed. As you read this, my hope is that none of this is news to you, and that no matter what your role is at Prisma, you’ve seen these inefficiencies at play. All that being said, I take full responsibility. As your CEO, I must do better, and I will.

To team members who are departing

First and foremost, thank you for everything you’ve done to help bring Prisma this far. While it is with great sadness that we must part ways, I am confident that each and every one of you will excel in your future endeavors and your next team will be fortunate to have you on board. Please know that today’s decisions are in no way a reflection of the excellent work you have done. You will always be valued members of our team and dear friends to the company.

In order to assist with your transition, we have put together a package of benefits to ensure that you continue to receive support and compensation while searching for your next opportunity. This includes:

  • Severance pay: All departing team members will receive one month of additional pay per year of service, plus the payout of any accrued PTO.
  • Healthcare benefits:
    • Prismas health benefits for US employees will remain in place through February.
    • International contractors who don’t have government funded medical cover available will receive an extra $1,000 severance.
  • Equity vesting: We are waiving the equity cliff for team members who have been with us for more than 6 months but less than 1 year.
  • Job search support: For all those who wish to, we will do our best to connect you with the various recruitment groups within our investor community.
  • Equipment: Keep all of the equipment that has been issued to you during the course of your employment with Prisma.

I understand that some of you identify closely with your work at Prisma. However, it is important to remember that your success at the company was not solely due to your expertise in databases and the Prisma products you helped create. Like all of us, there was a time when you were unfamiliar with these subjects. Rather, your success was a result of your emotional intelligence, your strong organizational and interpersonal skills, your commitment to your personal and professional values, and your authenticity. These are valuable, transferable skills that will serve you well in future endeavors.

To team members staying

It will be difficult to bid farewell to team members with whom we have worked closely, so it is understandable to take the time you need to support our departing colleagues. I will be hosting an All Hands Meeting later today to provide information on how we will move forward. Team leads will also be hosting a team-level all hands to ensure open communications. These sessions are intended to ensure that all of your questions are thoroughly addressed.

While these changes are difficult, we have to move forward and take control of the incredible opportunities ahead of us. All indicators (GitHub stars, npm downloads, daily usage, etc.) are pointing in an upward direction. This is exactly what we want to see.

As a team, we are very close-knit, and now we need to translate that sense of unity into a more organized structure that will help us stay focused and accomplish our goals. I am confident in your abilities as our past experiences have proven that you are capable of overcoming any obstacle. Your dedication to Prisma remains unwavering and we will continue to build on that strength.

With gratitude


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