Association for pro communicators mired in controversy over layoffs

The International Association of Business Communicators was slow to explain fully why it was laying off half its staff, according to onlookers.

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The International Association of Business Communicators is a professional network that aims to be the gold standard for the industry.

The organization has found itself in a communications crisis since it announced it would lay off half of its 32 staffers by yearend, and then hire 11 newcomers, part of a change in strategy.

The shakeup came Nov. 29, five months after Christopher Sorek began his tenure as executive director of the organization, which has 14,000 members in 70 countries. Sorek previously worked as CEO of The Drinkaware Trust in the U.K.

Several critics said IABC initially didn’t make a platform available to discuss the restructuring, so members took to LinkedIn on Dec. 1 under the thread: “IABC fires most of its staff, and most VPs. Does not discuss it.”

It wasn’t until six days later that IABC began a LinkedIn thread of its own.

Now, weeks later, IABC announced it will address the restructuring in webinar Q&A’s at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. PST Dec. 19. The webinar invitation includes a mea culpa:

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