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December 4, 2023

‘Kill list’ | Mystery doc shows list of LinkedIn staff facing redundancy, days before HR announcement

LinkedIn employees discovered a mysterious list of around 500 names over the weekend. On Monday, workers said those on the list were laid off.
Some LinkedIn workers worried they were about to be laid off after a mysterious internal list of about 500 employees was discovered to be accessible by anyone at the company.

Hours later, workers who had seen their name on the list had their worst fears confirmed — they were laid off, two LinkedIn workers told Insider.

A LinkedIn worker posted Sunday night on Blind, an anonymous job-posting site that verifies workers’ employment using their company email, about a potential “kill list,” as the worker described it, of employees that would be impacted by an upcoming layoffs.

Rumors began to swirl within the company after the worker’s post, two employees told Insider.
The LinkedIn worker who posted to Blind noticed a new list, called “OctoberUpdate,” had been created by the company’s human resources team on LinkedIn’s GroupID tool, a third-party system that allows workers to add themselves and others to teams and can be used to create group calendar events or email chains, the two employees said.

“I was getting texts from everybody, all my friends,” one of the LinkedIn workers told Insider. “Everybody was calling and saying ‘Hey, check GroupID.'”

The LinkedIn worker said the list included hundreds of people, including a friend who later learned on Monday that they had been included in the layoffs round. Insider was unable to independently confirm the full list of names on the list to check if all had been impacted by the layoffs.

A LinkedIn spokesperson confirmed to Insider that the company uses GroupID “to create and manage distribution lists.”
The spokesperson said that LinkedIn is “committed to ensuring all impacted employees are treated with care and respect” with regards to the layoffs.

The GroupID list was deleted the same day after dozens of workers took to the company’s internal channel to ask management about the list, but management did not comment on the list, the worker told Insider. Even though it had been deleted, LinkedIn workers could still see the history of the list, including the names on it, the worker said.

The larger GroupID tool also became inaccessible to LinkedIn staff on Sunday, two workers said.

“We’ve heard that you may be experiencing issues accessing Go/GroupID,” said an email sent around 4 a.m. on Monday from the company’s internal communications team that was viewed by Insider. “We’re looking into it and appreciate your patience as we work through the issue. There is no ETA at the moment.”
It is unclear why the internal tool went down. The two LinkedIn workers told Insider that initially the tool was slow to load on Sunday night when they checked it and they suspected there were too many workers trying to access the tool at once.

“It took like 20 minutes for the tool to load,” one LinkedIn worker said, adding that the tool is typically not one that a worker uses every day, but it usually reserved for setting up or joining different groups. “It felt like everyone at the company was looking at that list at once.”

LinkedIn confirmed the job cuts in a press release on Monday after it sent a company wide email announcing over 600 employees would be impacted by layoffs, including a reduction in 563 roles across its R&D divisions.

In the email sent to employees on Monday morning, which was seen by Insider, representatives of the professional networking platform said the company “did not expect to share this important update.” Staff were told in the email to expect to receive another email within an hour to find out whether they had been laid off. The employees who were notified they had been laid off were told to attend a meeting where they were walked through the logistics of leaving the company, a LinkedIn worker said.


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