Over the last year, it feels like every day, we’ve heard the news of mass layoffs and hiring freezes from big tech companies that were formerly famous for having deep pockets and near-endless amenities for workers.
To open 2023, Amazon announced layoffs of mostly corporate employees will trim 18,000 workers from the roster, the biggest reduction — in raw numbers, despite Amazon’s 1.5 million-strong workforce — yet.
In March, the company said it would let go of 9,000 more workers with cuts of jobs across its HR, advertising, AWS, and Twitch operations. After cutting 11,000 workers in late 2022, Meta also followed up in March with 10,000 more layoffs.
Slightly smaller raw numbers have popped up at Google, with 12,000 layoffs, and Microsoft, with 10,000.
Elizabeth Lopatto spoke to experts to try and answer the question of why so many layoffs are happening right now, despite tech companies continuing to register sizable profits. One reason is that “investors have changed how they’re evaluating companies,” even if there’s a lack of evidence that the layoffs can help solve any of the problems they may have.
Here’s all our coverage of the recent outbreak of layoffs from big tech, auto, crypto, and more:
Verizon warns customer service employees of impending layoffs
Just days after overhauling its wireless data plans, Verizon on Wednesday held a meeting with a wide audience of customer service employees to notify them of upcoming “restructuring” and “streamlining” measures that are all but certain to result in significant layoffs. More details will be shared tomorrow, May 25th, according to a prerecorded message that employees received. Over 6,000 employees were present on today’s call — The Verge spoke with several of them — but the consolidation measures could end up impacting numbers far beyond that.Read Article >
The warning comes just a month after Verizon posted Q1 ’23 earnings, which fell short of Wall Street estimates as its subscriber base continued to shrink. The company lost 127,000 postpaid subscribers in the quarter. In March, the company appointed Sowmyanarayan Sampath as CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, which oversees its customer service operation.
May 24Meta has started its third of three planned rounds of layoffs.
According to Reuters, Meta workers in areas including “marketing, recruiting, engineering and corporate communications” posted on LinkedIn about being laid off. Meta laid off 11,000 employees in November and announced the latest rounds of cuts in March, which it said would affect 10,000 staffers.
May 23Disney’s third planned round of layoffs has started.
They’re expected to affect more than 2,500 jobs, according to Deadline. The second round happened in April, affecting approximately 4,000.
Meta’s next round of layoffs will start next week
Meta employees are bracing for another round of layoffs. In a recording of a company meeting obtained by Vox, Meta president of global affairs Nick Clegg told employees that a “third wave is going to happen next week.”Read Article >
After laying off 11,000 employees last November, Meta later announced job cuts affecting an additional 10,000 workers by the end of May. Meta started by cutting workers in recruiting roles in March and slashed an additional 4,000 jobs in its technology department in April. This latest round of layoffs is expected to affect workers in business-focused positions.
Microsoft won’t give salaried employees raises this year
Microsoft is skipping raises for salaried employees this year. In an internal memo obtained by The Verge, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told employees that only hourly workers will receive raises and blamed the move on the uncertain state of the economy.Read Article >
“We are clear that we are helping drive a major platform shift in this new era of AI, and doing so in a dynamic, competitive environment while also facing global macroeconomic uncertainties,” Nadella wrote. “We must maintain a leadership position in our at-scale businesses of today, generating enough yield to invest and lead in the next wave, while staying on the frontiers of both performance and efficiency.”
Nuro plans for more layoffs as the AV sector’s economic woes deepen
Robot delivery startup Nuro announced plans to layoff a portion of its workforce and to pause its commercial operations as it pivots to more research and development. The news comes amid a broader set of financial challenges for the burgeoning autonomous vehicle sector.Read Article >
Nuro grew too rapidly in recent years thanks to an abundance of capital, a zero interest rate environment, and a growing sense of competition. But the company has since run into economic headwinds that are challenging the entire tech industry.
May 3Unity is laying off 600 employees.
In a filing with the SEC, the game engine maker announced that it’s laying off about eight percent of its workforce. It says the job cuts come as it “restructures specific teams in order to continue to position itself for long-term and profitable growth.”
Clubhouse is laying off more than half of its workforce
Clubhouse, the app that sparked a wave of audio-only features, is laying off over 50 percent of its employees. The app’s co-founders, Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, shared the news in a memo to employees, where they emphasize a need to “reset” the company in a post-covid era.Read Article >
“As the world has opened up post-Covid, it’s become harder for many people to find their friends on Clubhouse and to fit long conversations into their daily lives,” the founders write. “To find its role in the world, the product needs to evolve. This requires a period of change.”
Apr 27Amazon is laying off Studios and Prime Video staffers.
About 100 roles are impacted, according to TheWrap and Business Insider. Amazon began laying off employees in its cloud and HR divisions yesterday. The company last month announced it would be cutting an additional 9,000 staffers.
Apr 27Lyft lays off nearly a third of its employees.
That translates into 1,072 workers that will be out of a job after the company said it would undertake a “restructuring” to reduce operating costs. These layoffs come after the beleaguered ridehail company laid off 13 percent of staff last November. Lyft’s May 4th first quarter earnings call are sure to be brutal. The company’s share price fell off a cliff earlier this year and has yet to really recover.Lyft lays off 1,072 employees
Dropbox is laying off 500 people and pivoting to AI
Dropbox is laying off around 500 employees, making up about 16 percent of the company’s entire workforce. In a memo to employees, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston attributes the layoffs to a rocky economy — but also says that the cuts will allow the company to build out its AI division.Read Article >
“In an ideal world, we’d simply shift people from one team to another. And we’ve done that wherever possible,” Houston writes. “However, our next stage of growth requires a different mix of skill sets, particularly in AI and early-stage product development. We’ve been bringing in great talent in these areas over the last couple years and we’ll need even more.”
Apr 26More Amazon layoffs.
The layoffs are affecting staffers in the company’s cloud computing unit and HR, according to CNBC. Amazon announced in March that it would be cutting 9,000 more jobs, and these layoffs are part of that count. The company announces earnings on Thursday.
- More Lyft layoffs are coming.
On Friday, new Lyft CEO David Risher emailed staff to inform them of layoffs happening on Thursday, April 27th. The company shared his email on its blog. Lyft plans to cut 1,200 or more jobs, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company laid of 13 percent of its staff in November.A note from Lyft’s CEO, David Risher
- Whole Foods is laying off several hundred corporate workers.
The Amazon-owned grocer is cutting jobs and reorganizing some teams, according to a memo obtained by CNBC:
As the grocery industry continues to rapidly evolve, and as we — like all retailers — have navigated challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and continued economic uncertainty, it has become clear that we need to continue to build on these changes. With additional adjustments, we will be able to further simplify our operations, make processes easier, and improve how we support our stores.
- Insider laid off employees on Thursday, too.
The company laid off 10 percent of staff the same day BuzzFeed cut 15 percent of its workforce and shuttered BuzzFeed News. Rough day for digital journalism.Insider to Lay Off 10 Percent of Staffers, Company Says
[The Daily Beast]
- “Why should we stay at Meta?”
After the company laid off about 4,000 employees in technical roles on Wednesday, employees asked Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg why they should stay at the company in a virtual Q&A on Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Here’s the full question, and his response:
During the Q&A with employees, Mr. Zuckerberg was asked “You’ve shattered the morale and confidence in leadership of many high performers who work with intensity. Why should we stay at Meta?”
Mr. Zuckerberg told employees he hopes they are at Meta because they believe in the work that the company is doing.
“There’s no other company in the world that delivers social experiences at the scale that we are and that does so across such a diversity of different products and use cases,” he said. “So if you want to reach people in the billions and have a massive impact, I think this is a great place to be.”
Apr 19Meta layoffs hit London.
The employees at Meta’s Instagram office in London could either be cut or relocated as part of the company’s latest round of layoffs, according to a report from Bloomberg. That also means Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is headed back to the US after moving to the UK last year.
Meta’s latest layoffs cut employees in technical roles
Meta has started its latest round of layoffs on Wednesday, and they affect employees in technical roles, according to CNBC.Read Article >
It’s unclear how many employees are being laid off in this round, but Vox reported Tuesday that the cuts would be “in the range” of 4,000 people. On LinkedIn, I found posts from people laid off in roles including senior engineering manager, user experience researcher, data scientist, technical program manager, gameplay programmer, and content designer.
- Amazon is laying off some advertising staffers.
The company confirmed the layoffs to CNBC and shared an exec memo about the changes. It’s unclear how many were laid off, but the decision arrives nearly a month after CEO Andy Jassy announced an additional 9,000 job cuts.
Apr 18Meta’s next round of layoffs might happen this week.
Vox reports the company plans to lay off “in the range of” 4,000 people on Wednesday. Seems like this will be part of the 10,000 job cuts Meta announced in March.
Apr 12“Humbled” Silicon Valley VCs are loading up on money from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE.
If you can’t raise in the US... try, try again?
“We came to San Francisco looking for them in 2017. Now . . . everyone is coming to [us],” said Ibrahim Ajami, head of ventures at Mubadala Capital, part of Mubadala Investment Company, a $284bn Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. “The tech correction has humbled the industry.”Silicon Valley VCs tour Middle East in hunt for funding
Apr 8DPReview’s archives live on!
Some good news to end your week with. In an update to its readers, Digital Photography Review’s general manager Scott Everett confirms the site’s content will remain online after the site shuts down on April 10th.
Glad to see nearly 25 years of work not going to waste, but I’ll still miss checking DPReview scores for all the upcoming cameras.
Meta’s layoffs are reportedly ‘gutting’ its new customer service teams
Meta’s company-wide job cuts impacted the customer service team it had just started to build, leaving influencers and group admins grappling with scammers and technical difficulties, according to a report from CNBC.Read Article >
CNBC says it spoke with former Meta employees and viewed documents filed with the US Department of Labor that indicate the company’s massive layoffs affected workers across Facebook and Instagram’s customer support, customer experience, and communities teams. Meta laid off 11,000 employees last November and cut an additional 10,000 workers in March.
Apr 4Amazon’s layoffs could affect its gaming efforts.
Around 100 employees in Amazon’s gaming divisions are being laid off as part of the company’s broader cuts, according to a report from Bloomberg. While some of the affected employees work at the company’s game studio in San Diego, work will apparently still continue on an unannounced game.
Apple has reportedly started a small number of corporate layoffs
Apple is reportedly laying off a small number of people from one of its retail teams, according to reports from Bloomberg and Business Insider. It’s currently not clear how many people will be affected, but Bloomberg says the number is “likely very small,” and both outlets say that, internally, the company is pitching it as a way to improve its operations rather than as a cost cutting measure.Read Article >
Still, until now, Apple’s lack of layoffs has set it apart from many big tech companies that have announced major cuts. Those include: