Joining Zillow Offers venture is one of my most memorable life experience. The team started in late 2018 with a handful of strong engineers and applied scientists. Zillow was also a medium size company of less than 4,000 people. As the ZO business grow, the ZOML (Zillow Offers Machine Learning) team and Zillow both scaled extremely fast. ZOML hired many people. Luckily, there was no layoffs before the ZO wind-down, which happened on Nov. 2, 2021. The company; however, did have a massive layoff (2000+ people) in early 2022.
From early 2020 to mid of 2022, the number of Zillow employees grew like a roller coaster. Grouped by C-suite leaders, here’s how it looked like:
After announcing ZO sunset, here is an incomplete list of anecdotes during that time:
- ZO melt-down
- Stock price waist chop
- 2000 people layoff
- CEO wear Rolex on Zallhall and laughed
- ZO uncertain next step
- Internal transfer fanatics
- ZOML voluntary sacrificial hackweek (purchase side)
- ZO Dev Silent decommision plan
- Generous one-time peanuts grant that has four-year-vest-cycle
- Hiring freeze and internal transfer halt
- HR Layoff
- Stock repurchase program, nice try
- 50 dollars holiday gift card
- Good Cry Farewell
I keep a roster of my peer ZOML people:
I strongly believed that ZOML was a great team and ZO was a great business, so I was particularly interested in how long would people stay.
For everyone, this is the probability curve:
Compare managers and individual contributors:
Compare Engineers and Applied Scientists.
How about people who hold Ph.D versus people don’t? Surprising number: 40% of ZOML people has a Ph.D!
Compare males and females:
Compare native speakers and non-native speakers.
No particular strong conclusion can be drawn from such limited size of data. But these will suffice a couple of jokes.