RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – With the threat of layoffs looming, NetApp employees are flocking to online forums to vent their frustration and anger, with some complaining of a “toxic” work culture.

“They used to be a good company to work for, now they are caught up with toxic liberalism and it has destroyed the real culture that NetApp used to be known for,” one anonymous contributor wrote on this week.

Another added: ”There are other companies with much better cultures and environments. Most are more relevant, and their stocks do better. Some even care about their employees. I don’t know why anyone would work at NetApp.”

While only a small sampling of its some 10,000 workers, it provides a peek behind the curtains into the data storage and cloud computing company, which announced plans last week to slash its workforce.

In a conference call with Wall Street analysts last Wednesday, CEO George Kurian said NetApp is poised to layoff several hundred employees – around 5.5 percent of its workforce – as part of a “strategic alignment.”

Where the layoffs will take place remains unclear. However, Kurian did confirm earlier reports that employees absorbed through SolidFire, which NetApp acquired in 2016, will be taking the brunt of the hits.

NetApp maintains a large campus in RTP.

“These headcount reductions are never easy to make, and we take care and consideration when we decide to make those changes,” Kurian said in the call’s transcript.

Even so, many disgruntled workers complained about the rationale behind some of the layoffs.

Under the subhead “Performance or Politics?,” one contributor wrote: “Few in my team were laid off, and they were extremely good at their work … I can only smell politics here because none of the boss’s favorites are touched even with their mediocre performance.

Another former employee described a work culture where the threat of layoffs always hovered.

“I left over a year ago and I remember the constant fear of layoffs ruining my productivity while I was there. I feel for those who were impacted. Time to move on rather than staying there until it’s too late,” they wrote.

Someone added: “I worked there for 10 years with no ax to grind, left on good terms. I’ve worked at several big companies and NetApp by far, had the most close-minded thinking in leadership.”

Another agreed: “NetApp’s management is completely rotted, especially from the director level up to the CEO. GK seems intent on turning NetApp into IBM.”

However, others appeared more sympathetic with the company.

“NetApp is one of the best run organizations and has done a stellar job transforming itself from on-prem to hybrid cloud. Rarely have I worked for a CEO that I have had as much respect for as with GK,” wrote a contributor.

“Too many bitter people gripping about bad management. If your unhappy, leave. Don’t blame it on management, take ownership for your own situation. Don’t be a victim, be a catalyst. Every organization has it’s on challenges, be the change you want. I’ve worked in many organizations, going on 35 years, including Microsoft, Motorola, and others (too many details tips my hand). GK is one of two top CEOs (over 20 to my name) I have worked for and would work for him again.”

NetApp CEO on ‘never easy’ job cuts: ‘We realigned about 5.5% of our workforce’