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Automation Anywhere takes digs at UiPath layoffs

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The Times Of India
09th November, 2019 10:36 IST

BENGALURU: The world’s leading robotic process automation companies UiPath and Automation Anywhere are at it again.

The latter’s co-founder Mihir Shukla and HR head Nancy Householder are taking public digs at UiPath’s recent layoffs and how it went about it.

Previously, on August 28, the first day of Automation Anywhere’s flagship Imagine conference in Bengaluru, UiPath had done some clever ambush marketing by taking full-page jacket advertisements in The Economic Times in Bengaluru.

The latest round follows UiPath’s decision to layoff about 400 people globally, including about 50 in India.

Shukla said in an email to partners and colleagues on November 1: “We don’t like to see people at any company impacted this way. If you know any of these people, please bring them to our attention. We’re always looking for great people and we’re hiring.”

He went on to say, “We’ve also heard their CRO, CIO and CFO have left the company or will leave by the end of the year. These three leadership roles are critical to the success of any company. The timing of these departures is troubling and indicative of serious issues.”

He emphasised to the partners that his rival’s layoffs were not reflective of any weakness in the RPA (robotic process automation) category.

Nancy Householder, in a LinkedIn post on October 24, said UiPath had fallen short in taking disciplinary action to address profanity at work. She said, “As the CHRO of a competitor, I have been interested in the comments on the UiPath Glassdoor pages after their extensive layoff last week. I take no joy in a competitor’s troubles; many companies make mistakes when trying to grow fast. However, something has troubled me about the tone of some of the comments I have seen on the UiPath Glassdoor pages. There seems to be some celebration by UiPath folks untouched by the layoff. Here are some of the words and phrases used to describe their former colleagues or show support of the decision to reduce headcount… “haters”, “fat”, “time for them all to go.” I find this abhorrent. Who behaves like this? We would never tolerate this at AA.”

She goes on to say, “...if it bothers you that you work with anyone who would post such things while your former colleagues are in pain, why don’t you come work with us at AA?”

When TOI asked UiPath on Householder’s post, the spokesperson said, “I haven’t seen the comments, and don’t plan on sourcing them. Again, as a company, we are past this news and are squarely focused on growing the business and continuing to lead the market.”

On the day Householder wrote her post, UiPath founder Daniel Dines wrote a blogpost that sought to explain where he went wrong. “We were essentially born global overnight, establishing office locations in over 30 cities in less than 24 months. Realising the potential, I pushed UiPath to work harder and faster, and pushed us to hire at blazing speeds. In the last 10 months, we grew our workforce by 60%… sort of a ‘blitz scaling’ approach… And, we will still end 2019 with almost 50% more employees than when we started the year,” he said.

He said the layoff decision would benefit its workforce in the long-term and “I am confident that the name `UiPath’ on anybody’s CV is a reason to be proud.”

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