Lots of folks have asked me about my thoughts on Kaseya’s purchase of Datto:
Until recently I have been very much telling everyone to assume positive intent. Kaseya is looking to continue Datto’s success. In general, people don’t spend 6+ Billion dollars on something they intend to break. Change is inevitable and mistakes will be made but by and large Datto should expect to continue to be the company that is loved by employees and customers alike.
This past week, many current members of the Datto team have reached out deeply dismayed. There is a concern that the current trajectory from Datto’s new owners will snuff the flame that makes Datto a place to come “Do your life’s work.”
I am not associated with the company any more so my understanding of the specifics comes entirely second hand. Current team members have reached out and described the following:
- Sidelining Employee Resource Groups that support under represented people at the company - Looking for long term changes to budgets with decreases in excess of 30% - Don’t treat the office as a hub for community anymore. “No more hanging out in the office.” - Making changes to key benefits like maternity leave (down from 16 weeks to 3 weeks). - Reducing 401k Matching from 4.5% to 0% - Reducing vacation/pto from 20+10 to 17 total.
The method in which these changes have been introduced has done more damage than necessary. Communication has been heavy handed and those who have questioned it or expressed dismay have been simply overrun at best or summarily terminated at worst. These departures have induced a ton of unnecessary fear into the workplace. Employees are afraid to voice their opinions and give feedback. All of this is causing many incredible people who work at Datto to look for the exits.
This sucks. It feels like you just bought a leading football team and are in the process of breaking all the players legs. This is not a winning strategy. It will hurt the entire MSP industry.
Prior to the acquisition Datto posted its best quarter ever. The company’s growth was accelerating while generated meaningful returns to the bottom line. To make this happen it took a team 2200+ diverse, committed and brilliant people around the world delivering great product for MSPs. This team and the culture that bonds them together is the secret to Datto’s success. More than any price point or technology. Losing this team will spell certain demise for business long term.
To the management team at Kaseya. Take a beat. Stop and listen. There was a saying in Datto new hire training that “Datto is not your last company. Things are different here.” Datto is not the last company you acquired, it’s different. Its differentness is what makes it successful, not what holds it back. You have an incredible opportunity to be the engine that takes the entire MSP industry to a whole new level. You have purchased a unique asset that can bring you (yes you Kaseya!), like all its prior owners, incredible financial return. The way to get those returns and continue the upward trajectory for everyone in the MSP space is to listen and support Datto’s differences, rather than destroy them.
There is only one cure for poor management: withhold labor.