Writing > Boardroom Confidential > The one where the company loses $600M due to a bad review on Glassdoor

The one where the company loses $600M due to a bad review on Glassdoor

By Devon Hennig | June 2, 2021

The one where the company loses $600M due to a bad review on Glassdoor

By Devon Hennig | June 2, 2021

Boardroom Confidential is a series of wild-but-true stories where I document memorable, outrageous moments from the careers of me and my friends.


IF YOU'RE AN EMPLOYER, CHANCES ARE YOU HATE GLASSDOOR.          Most employers hate Glassdoor.          But executives like to shrug it off. They think it’s mostly disgruntled ex-employees venting behind anonymous profiles. HR does its best to reply with generic, pre-canned responses straight from the first blog post that popped up when they Googled “how to reply to negative reviews”, but beyond that no one really gives a shit. It’s the name of the game. Employees come, employees go. You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.          That’s fine and all until something like the following happens.           I’ve got a friend who works as VP of Engineering at a public company. This friend had been having problems with a team that was underperforming, so he decided to let them go. He informed the CEO and Chief Technical Officer, both supportive, and then worked with HR to give everybody the news. That night, one of the ex-employees wrote a negative review on Glassdoor where he said the business was bleeding people and that good folks were getting let go by incompetent management left, right, and center.           No big deal, thought the HR team the next morning. Copy and paste the typical Glassdoor response. Done.          Except this time things weren’t so typical.           An industry analyst had been monitoring Glassdoor, and as soon as the biting review popped up, he contacted the disgruntled employee for an interview. Cut to an article coming out the next day on a major news site: Mass Exodus from Company ABC.           The stock dropped 14% in one day.           That was $600M in market cap, gone.           Before you could say, “Ahh shit”, the CEO started getting calls from board members asking what the hell was going on with the loose cannon VP. Not fun. It took a year for the stock to recover from that devastating blow caused by one bad review, so remember this: whenever an executive dismisses Glassdoor, share this story and get them to think twice about being kinder to people on the way out for the sake of your reputation—and stock price.