The acquisition for an undisclosed fee was celebrated. Degreed wrote in a LinkedIn post: “The combination of Degreed and Learn In unifies the broader range of development options we know people use today, spanning daily learning to long-term upskilling for individual career growth and innovation within organizations.
“It’s also one of many steps the market will see Degreed take as they return to the original ethos of creating a more effective way to build and measure skills.”
The acquisition also saw Degreed’s co-founder David Blake return as CEO. Blake stepped down as CEO of Degreed in 2018 and went on to create Learn In,
Inside Degreed’s lay-offs
The jubilation of Blake’s return appeared to be short-lived as the company announced it would be laying off 15% of its staff shortly after.
In a statement on LinkedIn, Blake said: “Transparency is a core value at Degreed – one that extends to our community.
“As such, we want to share with you what’s going on with our treasured company.
In the simplest terms, we made the agonizing decision to reduce headcount today.
“We do this with the utmost respect and support for the colleagues we are parting ways with and everyone who is leaving Degreed does so in good standing. We will do everything in our power to take care of those impacted.”
Blake added: “If you are hiring, you couldn’t do better than a former Degreed employee, and we would be happy to provide you with a reference.
“As an organization, we are refocusing to where we see future opportunities which means evolving the way we do our work.
“Make no mistake – diamonds are made out of heat and pressure. We believe strongly in the future of Degreed and are taking the steps we must to ensure it continues to shine.”
Many will be surprised by this move that comes just after over a year after Degreed’s $153 million Series D, which valued the company at $1.4 billion.
After this valuation, the company made three acquisitions, it is unclear how many of the workers who were absorbed in these buy-outs have been impacted by the lay-offs.
Degreed’s chief people officer Janice Burns commented on the lay-offs and the acquisition. She tells UNLEASH: “With today’s challenging market and economic conditions, we’re concentrating on long-term sustainability with a deep focus on our mission.
“Combining Learn In’s technology with Degreed is a key piece of that strategy, helping organizations bring together a broader range of development options that support how the workforce learns from daily learning to long-term deep skills.
“People reduction is always a difficult last option, but we are going to great lengths to help the impacted team including outplacement, benefit continuation and severance packages.
“This includes the Great Degreeders list — an opt-in list for anyone impacted, that we will share with interested employers.”