I work for a startup which recently hit the "100 employees" mark. We have brought in senior managers from other companies, including competitors. These new people are introducing more structure (and it's probably a good thing), but they are also creating new management roles which are being filled with their old colleagues. This is happening at all levels, from C-execs hiring VPs who reported to them in the past, to engineering team leaders hiring their old team.

In all of this, staff who worked at this startup for many years is not getting promoted or given more responsibilities. In fact, 90% of our engineers left or were pushed out.

I understand that this is good for the senior managers, e.g. "I have a target to reach, I feel more confident with people I already know". But, the startup is losing most of its previous staff, from engineers to executives.

So, my question is:

Is this process an integral part of how startups develop (new senior management replacing staff and giving promotions to old colleagues)? And if this is the case, how should one plan a career in a startup, if there is a deadline when your work will help bring somebody who'll replace you?

Note: I am not looking for an ad-hoc answer, I want to know if this is EXPECTED and COMMON for any growing technology startup.

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    It is not common. But it does happen. If higher up are not pushing to give prior staff a chance then it will probably continue. VTC opinion – paparazzo Mar 11 '18 at 14:38
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    I've seen this tactic before. It's called a "good ole boys" system where there is a core "untouchables" that hires out upper management that is used like cannon fodder. If you're seeing a lot of upper managers suddenly being reassigned or let go of, then that is a sure sign especially if the core group is still there. – Dan Mar 12 '18 at 16:30

It happens and has many good reasons for happening. Quite often is it is a good business idea to get a new team in when a start up takes off. Techs tend to get the short end because some that are great in a startup are not really suitable for respectable society once things start happening or particularly good in a team.

You try and make yourself indispensable to mitigate against it, and keep an eye out for new work just in case. Seniority in a startup taking a new direction means little under top level management, and even then not much sometimes.

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