The world seems to be balancing a lot of good news with the bad news these days. At least that’s an improvement from the days of COVID when it was all bad. Anyway, that same balance impacts the recruiting industry, and thus this episode. The good news: Amazon, Salesforce are hiring and companies like HiBob, Druid, Catalyte, Betterleap and others are raising new funds. The bad news: Google just laid-off hundreds of recruiters globally and Oyster, who’s raised $224 million is going through its second round of layoffs this year. Then the boys cover the UAW strike vs. the Big Three, ask whether we really need CEOs when there’s AI and wonder why Elon isn’t turning X (formerly Twitter) into an OnlyFans competitor. Even Rep. Lauren Boebert would approve. Enjoy.
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Intro: Hide your kids, lock the doors, you're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for The Chad and Cheese podcast.
Joel: Oh, yeah. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice. You are listening to The Chad and Cheese Podcast. This is your co-host, Joel "Boebert" Cheeseman.
Chad: Chad "earth, wind, and fire" Sowash.
Joel: And on this week's show, big hiring sprees, big funding rounds, and Detroit's big three. Let's do this.
Chad: Man, we got a primer to the day. We actually had a chance to speak to VMware's entire Talent Acquisition Department, which I thought was pretty fucking cool.
Joel: I love the corporate gigs.
Chad: Oh yeah.
Joel: I love 'em. They're so refreshing, the questions are great. It's like, the foot soldiers, engaging with them, what's on their mind? I could do a corporate gig Chad and Cheese every week.
Joel: I love 'em so much. I love 'em so much.
Chad: It does kind of like get you all pumped up and all excited 'cause these are the people. These are the recruiters, these are the managers, these are obviously the VPs who drive the entire business. You cannot drive a business without talent. Without these people, you don't have talent. So thanks to Kent, Samantha and the team over at VMware for having us answer questions and do our Chad and Cheese thing, we had a blast.
Joel: Yeah, love it. And there's never been more questions and certainly like, "What the hell's going on?" In the 25 years or so that I've doing this. So that's great. Did you see the Lauren Boebert Beetlejuice play footage?
Chad: You mean handjob?
Joel: Yeah. [chuckle]
Chad: I mean, what!
Joel: The handie and the vaping.
Chad: Oh yeah.
Joel: That was amazing. The vaping.
Chad: So proud of our elected officials. Just so proud.
Joel: So good. So good. Just for the kids out there, it's the people that protest the much... Protest the most that are the ones doing what they're protesting. So it's like the person that is like the big Bible belt, the Bible thumper, they're the one in chains and a gag getting whipped by S&M shit. It's the relationship like, I don't trust you. They're usually the one that should be not... Should be trusted less. Anyway, note for the kids, but I had a good time and if she ever wants to come on the show or come to a Chad and Cheese party like, [laughter] she's more than welcome. She can throw it down. She can throw down. That was a first date, Chad.
Chad: Not surprising, dude. Just not [laughter] surprising. Yes, I'm gonna leave it at that.
Joel: Oh my God. Oh my God. Well, are you recovered from Wreckfest?
Chad: Somewhat. Somewhat. Had a blast. That was amazing and have to definitely say the Booze Cruise with Hackajob and then karaoke after where we both got on stage, not together but we both got on stage, it was a blast. And then we showed up the next day, and usually day two of a conference is it's like crickets. Because it's really hard to have somebody have a bunch of people go out drinking and then show up the next day, they had 80% plus return rate. Which I thought was ridiculous.
Joel: That's pretty good.
Chad: Yes. Good for them.
Joel: That's pretty good. That's pretty good. And there wasn't even like a hangover station.
Chad: There wasn't.
Joel: Where people get IVs and get rehydrated.
Chad: You know what? That can be a sponsored station next year.
Chad: Dude, if you've ever had an IV, oh, it just, it fixes things in a heartbeat.
Joel: That would be a good sponsorship. And that would be noteworthy. That'd be social media gold, hanging at the hangover. Hangover. Okay.
Chad: I have plenty of stories behind the IV, but we'll save that for later.
Joel: We'll save that. We got a lot of stuff to do.
Chad: Oh yes. We do.
Joel: We got a lot going on this week.
Chad: Let's push through. Yes.
Joel: Let's go to shoutouts. Yeah. I'm gonna go first. Elon Musk.
Chad: Oh Mike, really?
Joel: Elon discussed plans for Twitter or now X during a live stream with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, boy that's a party, proposing a monthly fee to combat bots and sharing user metrics. The man who has disparaged transgender people, federal regulators, politicians, journalists, whistleblowers, critics of his companies, and short sellers told Netanyahu, "We can't do that if there's a lot of infighting and hatred and negativity," talking about being on social media. So Chad, are you ready to pay up for Elon's new?
Chad: Nothing like killing the base even more than what it already is. His biggest problem is brand in and the problem with X right now is him. He needs to let Linda Yaccarino actually do her fucking job and he needs to go ahead and eject out and start focusing on rockets that aren't exploding in midair. Again, this is not an engineering problem, this is a people problem, and he is not a people person so he needs to eject because he's just killing this platform. It's horrible.
Chad: It's horrible.
Joel: I find it fascinating how it's been politicized. People are just losing their minds on social media. Twitter's really always been, for me, a marketing outlet. It's been a way for me to connect, tell people what I'm doing. And full disclosure, I do pay for Twitter. I don't have a problem with it. They verified my identity. Look, I think Elon's gonna... I'm along for the ride. I think Elon's gonna add stuff, it'll be interesting, there's metrics around it. But it's never been like a platform for me to be political or give my opinions, it's been a way to connect with people who follow me and give my opinions on stuff we're doing here on the show. But the way that it's been politicized and people get so fired up about this issue is pretty amusing to me.
Chad: He's gonna politicize anything because he wants drama because that brings people. It's the Fox News Entertainment or any of the "news channel" entertainment way of drawing people in, and I got enough of that shit. I don't need it anymore, and you know what I'm not gonna do, I'm not gonna fucking pay for it, that's what's sure. But what I will do, hit it.
Chad: Is I will give a lot of love to my wife, Julie Sowash who today is our seventh anniversary. Yes, the 21st of September. And that's the day we met, or I shouldn't say the day we met, but that's the day when everything really started happening and we got married on that day as well.
SFX: Alright, alright, alright.
Chad: Happy Anniversary.
Joel: Aww. My best to you guys. It warms my heart.
Chad: The cockles of your heart, yes.
Joel: To see pictures, it's just... Warms the cockles of my heart almost as much, Chad, as spicy nuggets. Alright, my shoutout goes to McDonald's. The goat of the McNugget kingdom is back at Nicky D's, [laughter] baby. You're probably unfamiliar with McDonald's spicy McNuggets 'cause you never go to McDonald's, but they were available about a year ago, and then they left. Well, they're back. They're back. Spicy nugs in buffalo sauce and maybe a pinch of ranch, and I'm in heaven, Chad. And the rumor has it, and I don't know how I feel about this, Canada's getting a leg up.
SFX: Take off will you? We're doing a movie.
SFX: Don't wreck our show you hoser.
Joel: Apparently Canada is getting the spicy nugs and a ghost pepper dipping sauce. Oh, Canada. Oh baby. Shoutout to the spicy McNuggets at McDonald's.
Chad: Wow. That's weird. Well, one thing, you might have to pay for Twitter but you don't have to pay for free stuff at Chad and Cheese. That's right, you go to chadcheese.com/free, or just go to chadcheese.com, click on free in the upper right-hand corner, you're gonna get free t-shirt from JobGet. The possibility of winning free craft beer delivered to your front door from Aspen Tech Labs.
Joel: We don't deliver this, Chad. We don't come to your door.
Chad: UPS and those... They have air conditioning now so they can do that.
Joel: Uber Eats.
Chad: Whiskey, two bottles of whiskey. Not one, two bottles of whiskey from Textkernel, and then there's a little rum with Plum if it's your birthday, kids. Not to mention, did you see that Plum won a Stevie Award this week?
Joel: And what's a Stevie Award, Chad?
Chad: It's apparently this big award with... It's almost like the Oscars of town acquisition and technology. Rum with Plum baby, you get to win some rum, but you need some plums so go to plum.io, take your assessment, look internally, a little bit more about your self.
Joel: I don't know if I wanna do that, Chad.
Chad: Check it out.
Joel: I don't know if I wanna do that.
Chad: Yeah. And say unless you're Joel.
SFX: Really. Did you feel the tension in the air right now? I know I can. I can feel it all the way down my plums.
Joel: Alright. Well, you know that sound means. Birthdays, Chad. We have a lot of fans 'cause we skipped last week 'cause we were in Nashville, but celebrating another trip around the sun. This week is Jim Lowe, Randall Emery, Eli Carstens, Lucas Roscoe, Eva Zils, Betsy Chuck Norris, Robert Saint-Jacques, Karen Heatwole, Mitchell Palermo, Katie Gentry, John T. Mehan, Kevin Lowe. Whether or not he's related to Jim or Rob, I don't know. Sean Luciens, Valerie Doyle, Joe Serio, Wendy Dodge, Zac Martin, Kevin Planton, Kelly Robinson, Katrina Kibin, John Sumpter, Shannon Seery, Casey Dockendorff, the best employment lawyer in Canada, by the way, celebrating a birthday, and my girl, Boston girl, Allyson Holbrook all celebrate a birthday this week.
SFX: Happy birthday.
Joel: That's a lot of love going around. Lot of candles on that cake, lot of candles on that cake.
Chad: Well, here's some love right here 'cause we got wrecked at Wreckfest. That's right, the shaker. I love this shirt, Calli and the marketing team actually came up with it.
Joel: They had to twist Joe Shaker's arm to get such a feisty message, get wrecked. Like you had to... The brand of that slowly to. He probably hates...
Chad: It's sexy.
Joel: Watching the Bears get wrecked every Sunday, and it kinda got home to him probably.
Chad: That hurts, that hurts. But our events are travel sponsored by our friends at the Shaker Recruitment Marketing.
Joel: That's right.
Chad: Shaker.com. HR Tech's coming up, we're gonna be in booth 1125 and drinking, eating, wreaking havoc, and doing some interviews in the Fuel50 booth both days in the expo hall, thanks to the crew at Fuel50 for again, letting us crash at their place. I can't promise that Joe won't make a mess, although we're gonna be there no matter what. You've already agreed to it. Too late.
Joel: Yeah, no promises. [laughter] No promises. Let's get into fantasy football, shall we?
Joel: Alright. Week two is in the books, we're heading into week three. Here's our leaderboard from Chad and Cheese Fantasy Football, sponsored by our friends at FactoryFix. Number one is Mercy Playground Mall, number two, Average Joe Dickson. By the way, Mercy got a D on her draft grade so she's doing pretty well. Number three is Dean Ragin Cajun Osner, number four Dina Pero for Paros. Number five, Brent I'm a Lucy baby. Number six, Chad So So Sowash.
Joel: Number seven, Jill the Pounder Patterson. Number 8, Kristen The Warrior from Woonsocket Urban. Yeah, she's from Woonsocket, Connecticut, I think, wherever that... Maybe Delaware, anyway. Joel Stinky Cheeseman, 'cause I'm number nine, I'm not smelling real good. [laughter] Dennis, Dennis All-belt No Gas Tupper, who was last year's champion. And number 11, Jasper Hey I didn't sign up for this football Spenjar who had an A plus on his draft grade by the way, that is...
Chad: Well, he was number one, A plus, and you had an A plus.
Joel: I had an A plus too.
Chad: And you're both at the bottom.
Joel: Yes, yes. An A grade, you're not winning. An A plus grade, you're not winning.
Chad: It's weird.
Joel: Topics. Alright, we got a little bit of a...
Joel: That's right. We got a big layoff. Oyster. Oysters raised $224 million per a CEO blog post this week. "The macro-economic environment has dramatically shifted creating headwinds for many businesses, including Oyster. These headwinds have dampened our growth expectations and radically changed the fundraising environment." They also had to lay off around about nine months ago, Chad. No word yet on the numbers of people that were affected by this. I'm curious of how their HR Tech booth will look. I'm guessing it might not be as impressive as maybe 8Fold's was.
Chad: No. They paid for that a long time ago. HR Tech gets their money up front, you kidding me.
Joel: LinkedIn says they have 659 employees, which is kind of small for the Deels and the Remotes and those guys. So, yeah, Oyster, a big name, raised a lot of money. Another round of layoffs this year, shoutout. Not shoutout, but layoff update from Oyster. But there is hiring Chad, which brings us to our next story. We're done with layoffs.
Chad: Give me the happy stuff.
Joel: Alright, Amazon, your boys are hiring 250,000 employees for the holidays and making its largest ever annual investment in US hourly wages. The company will make a $1.3 billion investment this year to bring Amazon's average hourly pay to over $20.50 per hour across customer fulfillment and transportation in the US. Workers will also receive improved on-the-job safety training. But wait, there's more, Chad. Salesforce plans to hire over 3300 employees reversing previously layoffs driven by a focus on you guessed it, AI & machine learning integration into its services. Oh, and this just in, Chano Fernandez the former co-CEO of Workday, has found a new job as the co-CEO of Eightfold AI, that's beginning in January. Chad, what's your take on all this hiring news?
Chad: Yeah, so Amazon is getting to be that time of year, go figure, they're going to be getting the hiring engines going. Oyster, macroeconomics, yes. Here's the thing, we all saw the sugar rush was happening. We all knew it was happening and we knew there would be a big fall off, so there's going to be some loss in staff. There's no question. But when you start, depending on the kind of percentages that you're talking about, we haven't seen, I don't believe many leave from Oyster. The Salesforce side of the house, so that's another big one. And they're looking for boomerangs, so you have to have a really good brand with your employees to after they quit to get them back. Right, the whole grass is greener scenario. The thing that bothers me the most about all of this is the new co-CEO at Eightfold. I mean, this guy is gonna make a ton of money for literally just re-shuffling deck chairs on the Eightfold Titanic. This guy isn't going to solve the current nebulous, what the actual fuck does Eightfold do, problem.
Chad: I reached out to a bunch of industry experts, got some responses back. Here's the one I wanna share, "Eightfold's Talent Intelligence is a nice concept and story, but it's also our generation's HR tech snake oil. It's a mirage that's ripping off the industry by doing nothing that adds any real measurable value." That is pretty much what Eightfold has been since day one is a lot of talk and no walk. So this to me, co-CEOs, you're gonna spend more money on another CEO, what the fuck for?
Joel: Overall, I love, I love this news. Amazon hiring a ton of people, Salesforce getting back people they laid off and realizing like, oh, maybe we over did it, maybe... Recession talk has cooled. Look, if you look at Google trends in terms of talk around recession, it spiked about a year ago, and it's gone down precipitously. Now, some people are still calling for it, and I think there is a level of recession some places and recession not in other places. We look at technology. I think talking to some vendors, that seemed to sort of bottom out in August and now it's gonna ramp up in the fall and into next year. Obviously the consumers are still buying things online, they're still looking for deals and keeping Amazon employees fat and happy. Healthcare continues to be huge money pouring into there, we'll get to the money in a little bit but in terms of some of this news, it's fantastic. Now, there was some bad news with Google talking about laying off hundreds of recruiters globally. I'm not sure how to exactly read into that, whether they're looking to automate all those positions.
Joel: But look, some people it's the worst of times if you're in brick and mortar stuff, you're in some of the restaurants, cars, we'll talk about UAA or UAW in the car industry. But some industries are hurting, but others are doing really, really well and it depends on what side. The old adage is a recession is when your neighbor's out of a job and a depression is when you're out of a job. So it kind of depends on your perspective as to where you are on the fence, but overall, I love seeing the news of big hiring companies doing things like this. I think it bodes really well heading into the winter and into next year. I think we're gonna talk a lot more about big hires, particularly for technology companies who were the first to let everybody go and cut heads, I think. I'd love to see a lot more tech companies like Salesforce talk about AI machine learning, new products and features, and we're also talking a lot more about startups getting money, these are all really good things, and I think we've waited about six months for these kinds of stories to start percolating and they finally are. And I certainly applaud it.
Chad: So news just came out, and I find this interesting because Amazon's getting ready to rev up their hiring engines. And news just came out that Walmart is going to start dropping their starting wages. So they boosted their starting wages, now they're gonna bring 'em back down. This is gonna be egg in their face because when they cannot find people to do the work that needs to get done...
Chad: For them to make money because they're going to Amazon or they're going to all these other organizations because they didn't drop their starting wages, watch this one. Watch this one.
Joel: Come on, Walmart.
Joel: See, that to me is, I think Amazon has done such a good job of delivering goods in a hours to days that people are being trained to, like, I just bought on Amazon, it's there that day or the next day. I mean, why my wife is an addict. Like she knows, oh, it's here. Like there's an alert on her app. Oh, it's here.
Joel: The idea of going to a store, a brick and mortar, like picking out stuff and Walmart has tried with, they bought Jet a few years ago.
Joel: Which is sort of a Costco online thing. That thing has gone nowhere apparently.
Joel: Target's dropped the ball. So Amazon, to their credit has really changed, I guess, the behavior of consumers and they are obviously profiting from that while Target and Walmart are in pain from it.
Chad: Yeah. Watch this though. When they start killing some of these bigger competitors, that same day delivery, that shit's gonna go away, kids. So again, like the sugar rush we talked about, this is how business works. They strangle the fuck outta their competitors.
Chad: And then when they're competitor, either they buy their competitors or they get off the market, then you're not gonna see the same kind of service that you've seen in the past. Get ready.
Joel: Yeah. I mean, the last mile is still an issue. Who's gonna do that? I mean, they've done...
Chad: Oh, yeah.
Joel: A good job with distribution centers all around the country.
Chad: Yellow was the last mile like trucking company and they're fucking gone. Right?
Chad: So, yeah. I mean, we are paid, guys, to be watching all of this landscape shit stack up to be able to report it back to you or at least our opinions. Right?
Chad: And a little snark along with that. But yeah. Some shit's happening. Don't get used to that. [laughter]
Joel: Yeah. A side note as well, a lot of talk on Wall Street and the sites that cover public companies that Workday is in trouble. Fernandez leaving for Eightfold. There's a lot of buzz about what the fuck is up with Workday. So we may be having some interesting stories about them in the weeks to come. Who knows?
Chad: Here we go.
Joel: But I'm excited, Chad, but I'm really excited because.
Chad: Here it is.
Joel: That's right, that's right. Let's talk unicorns and mass investment in our space. The purse strings are starting to loosen up, Chad. HiBob announced 150 million in new funding, bringing its total capital raise to 574 million with a valuation of $2.66 billion. DRUID, a Romanian-based conversational AIS, AI solution has raised 30 million in a series B funding round, bringing its total to 50.6 million. Betterleap, who claims to have the largest database and the most accurate data in the recruitment market officially announced it's launch backed by 13 million in seed funding, not Series A and Catalyte, a Baltimore-based provider of what it's calling an AI powered end-to-end re-skilling platform raised 1.5 million in funding this week, bringing its total to $65 million. Chad, what is going on? Your take.
Chad: So, HiBob. Okay. So whatever happened to expanding through organic revenues or maybe acquisition? I mean, why take so much goddamn money? At this point, they're going to have to go to IPO because there's no way in hell anybody is gonna buy these guys. I mean, they're just, they're not, unless they can get a Workday or somebody like that, or one of the acronyms.
Joel: Oh, yeah.
Chad: Right? You know, what your SAP or ADP or UKG to be able to buy them. I'm just not sure why this is necessary. I know why back in the day, like when LinkedIn started. When LinkedIn started, there was nothing on the web like LinkedIn, period, right? So they had to build it. They literally had no idea what productization and monetization was going to look like. So they needed the fuel, right? They needed it. HiBob, they, there's a whole segment of technologies that have been there and done that in that segment. So it's not like they have to create and re-productize and monetize. There's already a standard of how to do this. So I don't understand why they need to keep taking money. It's outta my mind. They've gotta be going IPO.
Joel: IPO is interesting. And we didn't have this in our notes but we saw ARM go public recently. We saw what happened in NVIDIA, which isn't public but we saw Instacart go public and we're actually seeing Birkenstock. That's right, the sandal maker outta Germany go public.
Joel: So the public markets are opening up. I can't wait for Greenhouse or iSIMS or whoever to go public...
Chad: Not for us, dude.
Joel: To see how this thing shakes out.
Chad: No way.
Joel: We had some news. We had some news in THE SHRED today, and if you're not subscribed, you won't get THE SHRED. But we talked about Personio, another big European company who's talking already about an IPO in 2024. So the IPO stuff's gonna start loosening up. HiBob has no other option but to go public in my mind. We've talked about pub companies usually don't fail because they took too little money, they failed 'cause they took too much money.
Joel: And that does not bode well for Bob. But yeah, if the public markets open up, if whoever goes first in our industry does well, you're gonna see a flood of all these companies that are unicorns or were unicorns a year or two ago, start going public. And that's gonna be a ton of fun to talk about. HiBob will probably...
Joel: Be one of them. A few of the others, I mean, there's a fairly common thread with AI upskilling, a lot of the same themes that we've talked about for a long time. The one that really gets me is Betterleap. These guys are sourcing, basically sourcing circa 2017. They've apparently scraped everyone from LinkedIn to Indeed to everybody for a billion profiles. Who knows how fresh they are or how fresh they'll continue to be going forward but they got 13 million seed money. I mean, that's series A money and they got it out the gate. So let's watch them. That's gonna be a lot of fun because where they're in, the space they're in is not very very positive. I said earlier that they're gonna need 13 million just to fight, pay all the lawyers that they're gonna have to fight off Indeed and LinkedIn, everybody else for scraping all their data. Also add that what came through Bullhorn Ventures invested in Staffing Engine and Spark Hire acquired a company called Chally that's also in THE SHRED this week. But money coming, people getting hired, that's all good for the world and it's all good for this podcast.
Chad: So Betterleap, their founders don't have, they have no experience in this space. [laughter] They're both product people.
Chad: To say that you have the world's largest database is one of the stupidest fucking things to do. You went to a data warehouse and you bought data from a data warehouse. Right? And anybody who's done anything in this industry for five minutes understands that most of that data house information is bullshit. It is fucking horrible. Right? So, I mean, to be able to boast those things, just to me automatically demonstrates that they are not mature enough to even understand our industry.
Chad: Or the history of our industry. The one that stuck out for me though was DRUID. Because 60% of DRUID's business is in the US and I think they're out of Bulgaria.
Chad: I believe.
Joel: Romania, sorry. Is Bulgaria in Romania?
Joel: Okay. They're a Romanian company.
Chad: They're Romanian company. Okay.
Joel: You know, your Eastern block knowledge is much better than mine.
Chad: So, 60% of DRUID's businesses is in the US. So really quick, just some quick advice to DRUID right out of the gate. That's a signal to stop growing internationally and focus heavily on where you get the most traction, which is the US. And then, those US companies will drive internet, international expansion when you go after more of the wallet share to be able to expand into those different locations under those same brands. Okay. So you're not a huge organization. Totally get that. How do you make the most out of the resources that you currently have? Focus on where you have the most traction and where the most opportunity is. Right now, that's the United States for you. So that would be my advice to you. 60%, that's the 100% of the time is perfect.
SFX: 60% of the time, it works every time.
Joel: Just like Chad's advice. Alright guys, we'll take a quick break. Please listen to the ads. Without the ads, there's no show. Listen to our sponsors. Listen to our sponsors. We'll be right back. Alright, Chad. We're barely into week two. If we're even into week two yet of the UWA or UAW battle against the big three. We're gonna start this summary with a soundbite, read an update and then we'll comment accordingly. This is I think GM CEO talking about...
Chad: Mary Barra.
Joel: Yep. Here we go.
Mary Barra: But if you are getting a 34% pay increase over four years and you're offering 20% to employees right now, do you think that's fair? Well, I think when you look at the overall, the overall structure and the fact that 92% is based on performance and you look at what we've been doing of sharing in the profitability when the company does well, I think we've got a very compelling offer on the table. And that's the focus I have.
Shawn Fain: Wanna call 'em family when it's easy. They haven't been there, they haven't taken care of their workers. We went backwards in the last 16 years, backwards while the CEOs gave themselves 40% pay increases in the last four years alone. Profits have been through the roof. $250 billion in profit in the last decade, 21 billion in the first six months, the price of cars went up 30%. Our pay went up 6%. Inflation went up 19, we're going backwards and they wanna call us greedy.
Chad: Yeah. That was Shawn Fain. Yeah, of the UAW.
Joel: Union. Union leader, the big three killed my baby. That's right. The UAW strike drama is ramping up like you heard. Not even a week old, General Motors in Stellantis have laid off additional workers due to consequences stemming from the UAW strike. GM halted production in Kansas and Stellantis laid off more than 2000 employees at parts factories in Ohio and Indiana. The strike involves nearly 13,000 workers across multiple plants. Ford boss Jim Farley said the union's demands would bankrupt the company. [laughter] To that, the union responded by indicating that the CEO makes over $21 million per year. Did I mention that we're barely into week two in this drama, Chad?
Joel: What are your thoughts?
Chad: Yeah. This is royalty versus us, the peasants, right? So when the CEO of GM, Mary Barra says her comp is based on overall structure, that means she gets paid differently. But here's the breakdown of how she gets paid. She gets $2.1 million in salary, 14.6 million in stock awards, 4.9 million in option awards. Nearly 6.3 million in incentives, 1.1 million in other payments. Who knows what the fuck they are, right? That was her 2022. So Maria Barra made almost $29 million in 2022. That's over 650 times that of the average line worker for GM. Is one person worth 650 people that actually do the job? So let's dig into this a little bit more. The average line worker makes $41,523, not even $42,000. If you actually gave that line worker 34% raise, which is what Mary's taken over the last four years, they would earn an additional $14,118, which makes their salary 55,000 plus, not even $60,000.
Chad: So in Detroit, this is from the MIT Living Wage Calculator, two adults with one child need nearly $67,000 a year for a living wage. One adult with one child needs over $80,000 in a living wage. This is, this shit drives me crazy 'cause Mary Barra is the highest paid of these three. But she's not the only asshole in the room. We talked about Ford's CEO Jim Farley total comp in 2022 was 21 million. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares total comp in 2022, nearly 25 million. We need to start talking about these CEOs, about ivory tower economics and then start looking at what it actually takes for a person, a worker, the ones who actually produce the cars on the line, what it takes for them to live every single day. And we don't do that. We need to break it down and do that more.
SFX: Doesn't anyone notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.
Joel: So this to me, this whole situation will be written in the history books as a fascinating study of so many layers of society. We have an EV revolution that says cars need to be electric. We have certain states saying, hey, by this year, no more gas vehicles can be bought in our state. We see countries over in Europe saying, no more gas automobiles. Now it's funny because the UK came out yesterday and said, we're going to extend the date on how much longer we can have gas cars. I suspect America's states will probably start doing the same. But in this revolution, let's be honest, the big three have not really hit it outta the ballpark with creating EVs. Most of 'em are ugly. Most of 'em aren't selling. I see very few. Everything I see on the road is Tesla, Rivian and I'll probably see more and more Fiskers as we evolve.
Chad: Polestar. [laughter]
Joel: So you have a government saying, we're going to encourage EV vehicle purchases. We're gonna give you $7,500 tax credit if you buy American made electric vehicles. Well, that puts Tesla right in the sweet spot of getting business by people who are looking to buy a new car. If everyone looks at Tesla as frankly a better looking car, better brand for electric, that's where they're gonna get gravitate toward, not the big three. An electric vehicle, as I understand it, takes less than 20 parts to make an electric vehicle. A typical vehicle today takes over well over a hundred, right? So the amount of workers it takes to make an EV is a lot less than what it takes to make a gas vehicle, as I understand it. And you can automate that a lot easier than you can making a F-150.
Joel: Now you have politically, it's tough for Biden to be on the side of auto workers when he's the one giving the tax advantages to people buying EVs. On the Republican side, you wanna be progressive, but you don't wanna seem anti-business. Through all of this sit, all of this drama, the CEOs and the people that are making the big bucks, I think they realize the future of their business. And to me it feels a lot like a get the money while the getting is good. They understand like the future is not in favor of the workers. In fact, I would argue that they are more than happy about this strike because the strike gives them some cloud cover to start firing a bunch of people. They've already laid off 2000 people, and we're not even a week into this. If the unions keep ratcheting up the number of plants that they're striking, watch the number of heads that roll increase more and more.
Joel: And I think ultimately the leadership knows that that's where the future is. If they can line their pockets, and by the way, decreasing headcount is gonna increase shock or share prices for these companies who frankly don't have a incredible valuation to begin with. Anyway, I'm rambling, but there's so many parts to this that when the history books are written and put the pieces together, it's gonna be incredibly fascinating. The sad part is yes, the workers for a decade, since 2008 when car companies got bailed out, got funding, federal funding but the workers have gotten royally screwed and I don't see that changing. I think this plays into the hands of the bigwigs, of the people in control and the politicians ultimately. Now, the one thing that's interesting is that the union could be the swing vote in 2024 for the presidential election.
Chad: Yes. So Shawn Fain, the head of the UAW already told Trump he can keep his millionaire ass at home. So, which I think is amazing because he said you were the problem. People like you were the problem. We don't need you here. I think this is a great opportunity for all of the politicians to get behind the people because that's who they represent. They don't, I know that the GMs and the Mary Barras and the Jim Farleys and so on and so forth, they give a lot of money to campaigns. But at the end of the day, it's the votes that are gonna matter. This is where they're going to have to balance and be smart about it. And right now, most of them, you hear a little peep every now and again, but they're going to have to take a stand. Are you with the people who are doing the work and they're getting fucked and they have been for decades? Or are you with the ivory tower crowd who, like we heard last year, there has to be pain for the rest of everybody else except for us on our yacht for the economy to go the way that we want it to go.
Chad: Yeah. I think there is gonna be... There are gonna be some politics that are definitely played here, but I love the UAW head. He's not taking any bullshit. He's calling it out exactly where it's at, and saying, "If you can take these types of increases in your salary and in your comp, then we deserve it too because we're the ones, we're the reason why you have that up and those profit margins."
Joel: Yeah. To me, the chess he's playing, and he totally dissed Trump and he also put Biden to task, and they have not endorsed anyone for president. Whichever party, if they can do it, if they can resolve this and get the workers the raise that they ask for, that's the next president of the United States. Because the swing vote is the unions, and if... Whether it's Biden or Trump, Democrat, Republican, if they can broker this deal and get them paid what they want, they're gonna be in the White House again. That's the real chess he's making. The chess he's playing is he's gonna talk to Trump and Biden and whoever else and say, "If you get us this raise, I will deliver you the White House." That's the chess he's playing. Not the bullshit with the CEOs, he's looking at this at a much higher level, to me.
Chad: Yeah. Well, the bullshit with the CEOs is all... It's the narrative. That is truth that Biden's been talking about with Bidenomics this entire time. The thing is does he have the balls to actually back up what Shawn Fain is saying because he legitimately is behind the people, so we'll see.
Joel: Love it. Well, speaking of CEOs Chad, an article in Harvard Business Review or HBR as the kids call it, entitled "The Myth of the CEO as Ultimate Decision Maker" got our attention this week. It's author argued a common misperception about the CEO's role is that they are the ultimate decision maker, and that the prize of getting this coveted position is that you now get to make all the decisions. In reality, the CEO's role is much more about shaping rather than making decisions. This approach empowers teams and fosters agility ultimately driving organizational success. Business Insider highlighted the fact that the CEO of Polish drinks company, Dictador is an AI-powered humanoid robot named Mika. And they're not the first company to make a bot it's CEO. Last year, a Chinese gaming firm appointed an AI-powered virtual humanoid robot named Tang Yu as its [laughter] chief executive. Chad, [laughter] help us make sense of this issue.
Chad: Tang Yu. So the AI boss named Mika told Reuters that it didn't have weekends and it was always on 24/7. Mika helps to spot potential clients and selects artists to design the rum producers bottle. So, here's the thing, we just talked about these individuals who are making a shit ton of cash. And to be quite frank, you could probably get rid of one of these CEOs. You can take Mary Barra out for about three months, six months or what have you. Would you even know she was gone? I doubt it. You take the 650 people her salary represents off the line, oh, you're gonna notice that shit, right? So why not just start infusing AI into the decision-making co-pilot of these companies? It's funny, we just had... We just talked about Eightfold has co-CEOs. Fuck that shit. Have a fractional CEO with a AI co-pilot along with it. Half the salary on that shit, and roll with it. It's just like this is where we should be starting. We should be starting at the CEO side, and you've got the QA/QC of a fractional person that's there, that's awesome but we don't need to be paying these crazy fucking comp packages to these assholes in the ivory tower.
SFX: That escalated quickly.
Joel: Yeah, I'm remembering an interview with Steve Jobs many years ago where they asked him sort of the CEO position and how stressful it is and hard. And he had a great answer like, "I have the easiest job in the company. In that, I just make sure everyone is on task doing what they're supposed to do." Now, he obviously helps create the vision of the company and he was a visionary, which let's be honest, most CEOs don't have the visionary thing. They're more managers and Harvard MBAs just sort of filling a seat and making the shareholders feel better. But Steve Jobs basically said, "Look, I touch base with my leadership, I touch base with the foot soldiers and make sure that things are going where they need to go, but once I set this ship on course, it goes. Once I get the plane up, it's auto-pilot to where it needs to go." I think we put way too much emphasis on CEOs not only for their decision making power, but they're, I guess, storytelling and the mythology. We spend way too much time on the idolatry of innovators, and these people must be smarter than us because they invented Facebook or Instagram, a picture app, they must be a genius. So I agree. Co-CEOs is stupid. You gotta go all in. What's this co-shit?
SFX: Just the tip.
Joel: I don't understand that at all. Look, it's like a married couple running a company. That's just gonna be just be a bad idea. So, I love this thing, these startups with AI CEOs. Look, how many founders do we know that aren't CEOs? They're not managers, they can't function, why not hand it to a bot? Why not hand it to AI? Like, "Okay, I made this company. Now what do I do? Okay. Let's hire people. Here's the structure." Why not give it to an AI? I'm all for it. And the money you save from it, shit, why not?
Chad: Just imagine the amount of country club expense costs that you don't have to spend with an AI.
Joel: We'll be right back. Oh yeah. Queue one of my favorite, favorite sound bites, Chad, you know the one.
SFX: Ay Papi.
Joel: Alright. OnlyFans is in the news again. A platform initially known for adult content has experienced staggering revenue growth. Some of the numbers are out, surging nearly 2000% in three years to reach 5.5 billion in 2022 alone. Shockingly, the US is its larger markets. Where have all the puritans in America gone, Chad? What is your take on the crazy growth of OnlyFans?
Chad: I think you said it earlier, the puritans like Boebert. That's who they really are. And she probably, I don't know this for sure, but she probably has an OnlyFans channel out there somewhere. This, to me, again, this is pretty amazing. I'd like to see the distribution of gross revenue versus what their accounts actually make. So to be able to actually split that out and see like the top let's say, for instance, 10 accounts. Of that 55 billion or top 100 accounts, of that 55 billion, how much is being made in this creator economy? Because that's exactly what it is. So this is, again, providing a very safe environment for many people who were sex workers and maybe are, maybe this is a supplement, to be able to move away from the actual physical and do something that's a hell of a lot more safe. I would love to be able to see the breakdowns. We've heard from many through different articles and different publications that individuals are making $8000, $30,000 a month through these channels, these OnlyFans channels so I'm not surprised. And when you have a population like the United States, which is current puritan and religious, these are the ball gag moments that they just love.
SFX: What are you doing step bro?
Joel: Okay. So, today the platform has 210 million registered users and more than 2.1 million content creators.
Chad: That's a lot.
Joel: Yeah. This massive user base continues driving impressive revenue growth for the company that's in the UK. I wonder where they sit as far as the... Chad, our intro featured Republican Congresswoman, Lauren Boebert and a story on OutKick declared she could make over $6 million a year conservatively on the platform. She currently makes $175,000 in Congress. Republicans love Elon so why isn't Elon taking on OnlyFans? And I say that you can start that initiative with getting Lauren Boebert on the platform on Twitter as they take on OnlyFans.
Joel: Now that, Chad, is a subscription model that we can all get behind. We out.
Chad: We out.
Outro: Wow, look at you. You made it through an entire episode of The Chad and Cheese podcast or maybe you cheated and fast forwarded to the end. Either way, there's no doubt you wish you had that time back. Valuable time you could have used a buy a nutritious meal on Taco Bell, enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey or just watched big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two chuckleheads instead. Now, go take a shower and wash off all the guilt, but save some soap because you'll be back. Like an awful train wreck, you can't look away. And like Chad's favorite Western, you can't quit them either. We out.