Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2013 (Revised October 2014)

CloudFlare, Inc.: Running Hot?

by Thomas R. Eisenmann and Alex Godden

Abstract

In July 2012, the cofounders of CloudFlare, a Silicon Valley startup that protects websites and accelerates their traffic, are considering the implications of five employees' resignations over the prior three months. Was this natural attrition for a high-tech venture with a staff of 35 experiencing explosive growth, or were the resignations symptomatic of bigger issues with CloudFlare's culture and management processes? After describing CloudFlare's early history, business model, organization structure, and human resources policies, the case presents first-person accounts from employees regarding their reasons for resigning, and then asks whether CloudFlare's cofounders should take any corrective actions.

Keywords: Management Practices and Processes; Employee Relationship Management; Organizational Structure; Organizational Culture; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Growth Management; Web Sites; Entrepreneurship; Resignation and Termination; Business Startups; Information Technology Industry; Web Services Industry; California;

Citation:

Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alex Godden. "CloudFlare, Inc.: Running Hot?" Harvard Business School Case 813-145, January 2013. (Revised October 2014.) (request a courtesy copy.)