Cameo, the company that lets you pay a celebrity to record a personalized message or make a video call with you, has announced that it is laying off 87 people, or about a quarter of its staff, according to Information. According to the report, employees learned the news during a town hall meeting on Wednesday.
Company co-founder and CEO Steven Galanis said the layoffs are a “course correction” after Cameo experienced massive growth during the pandemic. The company grew ‘from just over 100 to nearly 400′ employees during the lockdown, according to Galanis’ statement to Variety. Since then, he says, “market conditions have changed rapidly.” Early 2021, Variety reported that the company’s revenue was 4.5 times higher in 2020 than in 2019. Galanis told the outlet that the success was partly due to the fact that so many players turned to the platform. -form after other projects were put on hold and predicted they would stay.
It appears that this prediction has not entirely come true, given that the company is currently downsizing significantly.
On Twitter, Galanis asked other companies to hire the members of the “Cameo Fameo” who were laid off. While it’s a nice sentiment, the tone is… goofy, to say the least. Leaders who say their company is like family and let a large chunk of their employees go is sadly nothing new, and it’s almost always uncomfortable to see corporate culture crashing into the realities of capitalism. . But using a cutesy name for your workers in the context of public layoff announcements probably isn’t going to soften that blow.
(Also: I understand that CEOs probably face an emotional toll when they let people go – they’ve let down people who have entrusted their livelihoods to their care. But maybe they shouldn’t call this a “brutal day at the office”, given that it was probably much worse for people losing their jobs.)
Galanis isn’t necessarily known for his tact, however; in March, he reportedly said that Web3 was like Europe’s colonization of the Americas, drawing an analogy to the pearl trade against Manhattan Island. This was apparently meant to make Web3 seem like a good thing. In his statement to Variety Regarding the layoffs, Galanis said he wanted to ensure the company had “time and space to develop new business segments such as Cameo for Business, Represent and web3.” On Tuesday, the company announced its latest venture Cameo for Business; a partnership with Snap, Inc where advertisers will be able to hire Cameo artists to appear in ads on Snapchat.