知乎多名员工否认大规模裁员 任命新CFO或为上市第一步 – Securities Daily
What happened: Quora-like Zhihu has again denied that it has definite plans to go public following the hire of its first-ever chief financial officer (CFO). The addition to the team, along with plans for restructuring, was officially announced by Zhihu founder and CEO Zhou Yuan in a company-wide email on December 14. In response to Chinese media reports that the new CFO wants to cut as much as two-thirds of the platform’s existing workforce (roughly 1,500 strong), multiple employees told Securities Daily that they’d never heard of such plans. One company insider said that yearend assessments and layoffs are a regular occurrence and that Zhihu’s reorganization comes after a year or so of excessively rapid expansion, including the hiring of over 1,000 employees.
Why it’s important: While Zhihu says it has no timeline for an IPO, the company has seen positive growth in areas besides its workforce over the last year. Year-on-year advertising revenue grew well over 300% in the first half of 2018. And in August, after completing Series E funding the platform ended up with a $2.5 billion valuation, placing it firmly ahead of its US-based predecessor Quora. The company insider quoted by Securities Daily says that Zhihu’s restructuring is being misinterpreted as only downsizing, when in fact the company is preparing for new growth. If true, Zhihu will have its work cut out for it realigning and expanding its existing workforce in a sustainable way, let alone preparing for a rumored IPO.