City Desk

“It’s a Super Fun Day to Be LivingSocial!”

LivingSocial Layoffs

The mass layoffs at LivingSocial reportedly set to occur tomorrow have already begun.

According to one D.C.-based LivingSocial employee, at least 25 people were let go today, not including a company president who "stepped down." Three of the departing employees are based here in the District, where the company maintains a large presence and organizes a "Culture Team" I recently profiled in a Washington City Paper cover story. “It feels like a punch in the gut,” the LivingSocialite tells me. “They are happening very quietly. People I never thought would be going.”

Of the 25, the source reported, 23 are editorial staffers. One of the three departing D.C. employees the source mentioned has apparently already had his or her internal account shut off, according to the source. Neither of the other two responded to emails.

In the spirited comments section below my cover story, a couple employees hinted not only at mass layoffs “after Thanksgiving” and in the “near future,” but at a gradual workforce exodus away from D.C. Whatever cuts the company is making in the next week, I wouldn’t bet on that. Recall that LivingSocial only receives its full $32.5 million tax break if the company maintains 1,000 employees in the District from 2016-2025. LivingSocial is also penalized if fewer than half of its new hires are D.C.-based.

Still, says the source, more layoffs are expected in D.C. tomorrow, including in the PR department. “I've heard from higher up is that more should be expected tomorrow. There may be more today, but they are being extremely tight-lipped about it,” the source said. “It’s a super fun day to be LivingSocial!”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Bob Saget

    Simon - You are an incredible douche. Go get a real job.

  • Jane

    Congrats to Intern Simon for unearthing the most fantastic train wreck of a business I've ever seen. Can you imagine any company where scores of employees trash their bosses in public, on a media outlet no less? It says a lot about the complete lack of control at LivingSocial. No wonder these layoffs are happening.

    By the way, please tell me that comment thread is being archived. It's amazing.

  • Nick

    Isn't the City Paper in the Daily Deals business as well? My email box seems to think so. I can only imagine the fainting couches we would have to take the WCP writers to if the Post failed to disclose a similar financial interest in an industry they reported on.

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  • Mike Madden

    @ Nick:

    That's a good point, and one we should have noted.

  • http://none joe

    i worked there for exactly 90 days. companys comp plan was a joke. management had no experience and the quota was 20 new businesses a month. the deals were set up for customers to fail seeing the rep gets paid on how well they sell.

    the bigger the deal,(worse for the business) better for the sales rep. horrbile way to build a business.

  • @SamuelMoore

    WCP being in the daily deals business shows just how low the barriers to entry are (no offense, Mike) and what a horrible business model LivingSocial is based upon. I'd rather buy a WCP deal any day.

  • JustTheFacts

    The problem with LivingSocial, and to a greater extent, Groupon - is that they're simply middlemen. Being an intermediary is great if you have an economy that can sustain it. I'm sure there were all kinds of superfluous businesses during the 90's boom - but the party ended in the 2000 dot-com crash.

    All these guys are offering is a web back-end service for discounts. If I'm a business, I can push my promotions on to the internet without dealing with these guys, and have more control. Why pay someone for the privilege of running a sale?

    Both of these companies are doomed. If you need any further proof, look at the long term chart on Groupon. If the CEO doesn't turn it around by next quarter, he's out - and the wave of liquidations will follow.

    Sorry kids, being "cool" doesn't make a company run - profits do.

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  • turley59

    So as a fired employee who was hitting all their goals, the only explanation I received was none. But they get to keep the revenue from all the deals I signed, which over the next 60 days will total well into 6 figures. I get a pretty skimpy severance (they cut the calculation off right before a bonus check) Their "profit" on cutting me loose will be huge as they will get the revenue but not have to pay anyone commission/bonus. I would have been paid about 18K, they get off for 4K.

  • Babs

    Wow Turley59 that is terrible.

    I can't believe they're letting editorial go. The writing is insufferable. It actually wasn't so bad at one point. It's just deteriorated.