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Venture-Backed Companies Face Difficult Compensation and Workforce Decisions

While the COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis, it’s economic toll is immense and continues to grow. A global recession is now almost certain, with only its depth and duration truly in question. For venture-backed companies, the economic uncertainty unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic will force business and HR leaders to make difficult compensation and workforce decisions in the months ahead, especially as future funding rounds become harder to secure.

In light of this rapidly changing environment, we connected by video conference with two dozen senior talent partners at some of the world’s leading venture capital firms in late March and again in late April to discuss how they are helping portfolio companies navigate this crisis. This article, while not a comprehensive assessment of market practices, summarizes key themes from our conversation and provides insight into how venture-backed companies and their investment partners will approach upcoming compensation and workforce decisions.

We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold differently across geographies and industries, and we remind our readers that this article represents a specific point in time in what is an ever-changing environment.

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