Last Thursday, employees were on pins and needles at Instacart’s San Francisco headquarters ahead of the 10 a.m. all-hands meeting.
The week before, the company’s founder and executive chair, Apoorva Mehta, announced that he would step down “once Instacart becomes a public company.” The language announcing Thursday’s “team jam” sounded similar to some employees to the words the company used when it said it had made a confidential filing to go public. A recent C-suite shake-up further fueled speculation that the company was ready to go ahead with an initial public offering.
But the meeting revolved around other business and product updates instead. Hours later, employees went back to work. There was no IPO announcement.
Across Silicon Valley, employees are on a razor’s edge, oscillating between extreme hope and fear. Will that all-hands meeting bring news of a big payday realized, or the opposite: a hiring freeze or layoffs?