Sana Benefits - A letter from CEO and Co-Founder Will Young to Sana employees

Sana Blog / A letter from CEO and Co-Founder Will Young to Sana employees

A letter from CEO and Co-Founder Will Young to Sana employees

Yesterday Sana CEO and Co-Founder Will Young sent the following message to Sana employees.


Thank you all for joining us at all-hands. I encourage those who couldn’t join to review the slides and recording. I’ve also reiterated the main points of the presentation in this email.

Over the past month, I’ve shared weekly updates on the challenges Sana faces to getting back on track to Default Alive. This update is the most difficult. Over the next day, Sana will be reducing the size of our team by ~19% and saying goodbye to some incredible colleagues. While so many of you have been doing great work in the past few weeks to find solutions to help avoid this outcome, in the end Nathan and I know these layoffs are as critical to Sana’s ability to achieve its mission as they are painful to everyone who helped build this company.

How did we get here?

By most measures, Sana has had an incredible past few years. We’ve grown membership rapidly while simultaneously driving huge improvements in sales, marketing, and operating efficiency. Our retention rates and customer satisfaction scores are industry leading. We just raised a $60 million Series B in May, and doubled down on investments to improve Sana’s product and service offerings and to drive significant membership growth. This was the right strategy at the time.

That focus on accelerating growth and product development came at the cost of higher risk tolerance and greater expenses. Our company is fundamentally well-positioned to weather downturns — we offer customers a unique value proposition to significantly save on healthcare costs with a better customer experience. However, we need our investments to reflect the realities of the current macroeconomic environment and funding climate. This means re-orienting our company for leaner times today so we can continue delivering on our mission decades from now.

To impacted employees, I want to take a moment to emphasize that this is not your fault. Each of you has made valuable contributions to our company, to our customers, and to our members. This decision is not a reflection of your abilities or performance. I take responsibility for the events leading up to today’s outcome and I feel a deep sadness for how this decision unexpectedly impacts the lives of teammates we care so much about. 

Supporting departing Sana team members

When Nathan and I founded Sana, we did so with a vision of creating a company that allowed people to actually love going to work. We started by not having them “go to work” at all and made Sana a remote-first team. We’ve focused on building a high-trust work culture that allows extremely talented and driven people to feel empowered. To take an ownership stake in the company and its trajectory. To exercise great leeway to make big decisions without navigating red tape. To build great things and great teams. 

The people departing Sana in this reduction have done those things, and other companies will be incredibly lucky to have them. This is hard. We will say goodbye to amazing people. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude and are going to support them in the following ways:

  • Severance pay equal to three (3) months of your base salary
  • Sana paid medical, dental, and vision coverage through May 31, 2023
  • The ability to keep your laptops as we know having one is crucial for job searching
  • Removal of the one year cliff for equity (if you’ve been here less than one year)
  • 3 months of career services through RiseSmart, a company that specializes in career transition and job placement services. 

For those impacted, we are setting up a live, 1:1 conversation between each departing team member and a Sana manager Tuesday morning. If you do not receive a calendar invite by 11am central time Tuesday, then you are not impacted.

For those not affected by this layoff, we ask for your grace over the next few days as we navigate a lot of change at once. Please help us do right by our customers, our members, and our departing colleagues.

What’s next?

While the changes we are undergoing today are painful, this reorganization affords us the opportunity to focus on efficient growth and build a scalable, delightful customer experience. We’re also putting the company on a solid financial path so that we are once again Default Alive, and on track to reach profitability much sooner than previously planned.

This is a challenging moment for the company. I am confident we are taking the right steps to set Sana up for long-term success, but it means parting ways with valued colleagues. Let’s focus this week on saying our goodbyes and sharing our gratitude to our departing teammates; next week, we can hit the ground running again.


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