How Vice is losing its grip on young media
See how a human capital exodus played into Vice's fall from grace.
Vice Media has been one of the most successful news startups of all time, once valued at $5.7 billion in 2017. However, it is now preparing to file for bankruptcy, having struggled to generate profit, justify it's valuation, and reach a liquidity event.
Vice's downward spiral isn't just a cautionary tale, reflective of the wider challenges faced by digital media companies in recent years. The company's fall from grace is a case study in the link between human capital and financial capital.
Over the last 6 years, Vice lost almost half of its employees – some were laid off and some saw the writing on the wall and voted with their feet.
Click through the charts below to dive into the relationship between Vice's stunted growth, loss of value, and exodus of human capital.
Human capital is the foundation for financial capital
Employees leaving a company or being laid off is often a leading indicator of a company failing to reach revenue goals, generate profit, and drive success.
Large scale or persistent departures can be a symptom of larger issues within the company. If employees feel that their work is not driving impact or that they are not on a shared path forward, they are likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. For employees with equity stakes in a company, the decision to leave is often dictated by their expectations of a successful exit for that company.
The loss of human capital, institutional knowledge, and talent, often makes it even harder for the company to achieve its goals.
When companies are struggling to generate revenue or turn a profit, they may be forced to lay off employees as a cost-cutting measure. While this may provide some short-term relief, it can also have long-term consequences for the company's success – leading to a downward spiral.
Furthermore, layoffs can also have a negative impact on employee morale and productivity. Employees who are uncertain about their job security often become disengaged or seek other employment opportunities.
The relationship between human capital and company trajectory is inextricably linked. A company is only as good as the employees it hires and retains.
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