It’s hard to imagine a company keeping its normal operations when faced with the sudden death of its CEO — but that’s exactly what SurveyMonkey had to go through when its much respected CEO Dave Goldberg unexpectedly passed away in May.
According to a New York Times report on Sunday, SurveyMonkey is seeking all the best ways to help the company overcome the death of Goldberg, who died of a head-trauma in an exercise-related accident.
For example, in order to help employees cope with the loss, its interim CEO Zander Lurie has been increasing internal communications, sending out weekly emails about the CEO succession plan, company accomplishments and goals reached. Lurie, a GoPro executive, has made it clear he’s not one of the CEO candidates, and that he’s currently looking at “more than a dozen” prospects.
But the bigger challenge may be fighting off competition for talent. The report says SurveyMonkey now has to deal with an increased number of calls from recruiters for other tech companies trying to poach some its employees.
“I hate to acknowledge it, but it’s a fact … we’ve all gotten them,” Becky Cantieri, the head of human resources at SurveyMonkey, said about receiving more calls from recruiters.
As part of its effort to keep employees focused on their jobs, Don Graham, former Washington Post owner and friend of Goldberg, came in for a special two-hour speech, while 18 executives from other tech companies have agreed to mentor some of the SurveyMonkey executives. It’s also running regular surveys to ensure employees are happy at work, it said.
But the company knows it’s not going to be an easy process, especially when you lost someone as respected as Goldberg. As Bennett Porter, SurveyMonkey’s head of marketing communications, said at an all-hands meeting, “Let’s be up front…This is going to hurt. Everyone is going to cry. It is only the start.”
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