News has come to light that One Championship (and by extension, esports and gaming publication One Esports) has been hit by layoffs. according to a copy of a letter sent to all employees of the company (from an anonymous source via Tech In Asia).

The letter was sent by One Championship CEO and founder Chatri Sityodtong, the layoffs of which affected over 20 percent of the company. In the letter dated 15 June 2020, Sityodtong mentions that the layoffs were to “future-proof” the firm and to sharpen its “core strategic priorities”. Affected staff are still being notified via telephone as a way to “treat everyone with dignity and compassion.”

The retrenchment package for the layoffs includes a one-month notice pay and additional one-month pay for “every year of service”. The company will also pay for repatriation flights for employees and their families, while those who get laid off will also get to keep their laptops and receive healthcare coverage until the end of 2020.

What’s suspicious and fishy about these layoffs is that One Championship recently earned US$70 million in new funds. According to the LinkedIn page for One Championship, the company currently 389 employees. 20 percent of that means that more than 70 employees must have been fired.

Check out the letter in full below:

Dear Team ONE,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter. The world is suffering from the single worst economic crisis in a hundred years due to Covid-19.

After weeks of consultation with both our leadership team and our board of directors, I have made the decision to future-proof ONE Championship by both streamlining operations and sharpening core strategic priorities.

It is one of the most heart-wrenching decisions I have ever had to make in life. On the one hand, ONE has a strong balance sheet with a 9-digit war chest after today’s new funding announcement.

It puts us in the perfect position to continue aggressively building Asia’s largest global sports media property. On the other hand, these extraordinary times for the world require unusual prudence to protect our company and to ensure its longevity for many years to come.

With the decision to sharpen our focus around core strategic priorities, ONE will undergo a 20% reduction in total worldwide headcount.

I am truly sorry to our teammates who will be leaving us today. You are all superstars. Please know that I appreciate everything you have given to our dream.

This workforce reduction is a reflection of the global macroeconomic environment and the need to sharpen core priorities. It is not a reflection of your work, your skills, or your passion. I know that all of you will go on to do extraordinary things in life.

Your legacy will live forever in everything we do. Without a doubt, ONE Championship would not be where it is today without your blood, sweat, and tears. I wish you continued success and happiness for your next adventure. Thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart.

In the spirit of gratitude, we did our best to smoothen the transition for you. For those of you leaving today:

You will receive standard one-month notice pay.
You will also receive one-month pay for every year of service, prorated on a quarterly basis.
For example, if you worked for ONE for five years in Singapore, you will receive six months pay.
For stock option holders, you will receive a 12-month extension to exercise your vested stock options.
Your healthcare coverage will continue until the end of the year.
We have hired a top HR consultancy (Hudson HR) to help you with job opportunities, interview skills, and CV management.
ONE will pay for flights back to your home country for you and your family.
You are permitted to keep your laptop permanently for your job search and beyond.
Your leaders will help with job referrals through our individual networks.
Your leaders will provide references upon request.
For Singapore-based employees, your gym membership will continue until the end of the year.

Immediately after our company meeting, our leaders will start one-on-one virtual video meetings throughout the day with every person impacted by this workforce reduction. We had hoped to do everything in person and face to face, but the current lockdown in Singapore has made it impossible to do so. With all of us stuck in our respective homes, we will do our best to treat everyone with dignity and compassion.

Please note that, if you do not receive a call by 7pm Singapore Time today, you will not be part of this workforce reduction.

While this is a sad day for all of us, I want to assure everyone that the fundamentals of our company remain unchanged. Like other global sports media properties such as the NBA or the EPL, ONE is an IP-heavy, asset-light global platform business.

As Asia’s only billion-dollar sports media property at global scale, ONE has a rare and dominant position in our industry. Our institutional investors understand these qualities deeply and continue to show unwavering support as witnessed by today’s capital raise announcement.

For me, today is one of the saddest days since I started ONE Championship. To everyone who has ever been a part of the ONE Championship story, please accept my most heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for everything. Tears, laughter, dreams, and love forged our magical memories together.

No one can deny us of our greatness. No one can deny us of everything we have achieved together. No one can deny us of the hope, strength, dreams, and inspiration we have given to the world.

We are ONE. We will always be ONE.


 

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