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.
Now, it’s clear that the industry as a whole is tightening its belt, leaving hundreds of thousands of employees out of work — and more wondering if they’ll have a job within the next few months or searching for jobs in an industry that no longer has a spot for them. It’s gotten to the point where one tech recruiting site created an interactive tool to track the layoffs across established companies and startups.
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. Slightly smaller raw numbers 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.
We’ll probably see even more reasons for layoffs or freezes as other companies announce their own. Stay tuned to this page for the latest on big tech companies’ cost-cutting measures and how they affect current and former employees.
Here’s all our coverage of the recent outbreak of layoffs from big tech, auto, crypto, and more:
Didn’t they just have record-breaking profits?
The cuts follow layoffs at other tech giants in recent month. Content and ad chief Dawn Ostroff is also leaving the company.
Some of the departments affected include people working on everything from drones to Alexa AI, and even Halo.
- RToday on The Vergecast: Elon Musk status update, M2 MacBook Pros, and tech layoffs.
We also dove into the revelations about CNET’s AI-written stories and discussed the recent spate of Big Tech layoffs, although we recorded the show (available in audio form here for your podcast apps) prior to Friday morning’s bombshell news from Google.
Google needs to focus on key areas like AI, says Sundar Pichai
- M1,852 Amazon workers are out of a job in Seattle.
The company is in the process of laying off 18,000 people, and carried out a round of cuts today. Washington’s publicly-accessible WARN system lets us know how many people in Amazon’s home state were affected: 1,852 in Seattle, and 448 across the lake in Bellevue, for a total of 2,300.
The company has said it’s cutting 18,000 jobs, all told.
Microsoft hints at hardware changes just as 10,000 job cuts are announced. Microsoft is expected to announce big hits to Windows and devices revenue next week.
Microsoft is cutting thousands of jobs just as CEO Satya Nadella warns of a challenging two years ahead for tech companies.
- MDirecTV is reportedly laying off hundreds of workers.
“Most” of the people affected will be managers, according to Deadline, though apparently the company classifies around half of its employees with that title. In a statement to Deadline, DirecTV said it was “adjusting [its] operations costs” because less people are paying for TV and shows are getting more expensive to secure and distribute.
The cuts, which reportedly affect more than 200 employees, mark the first for an Alphabet-owned company amid the many recent tech layoffs.
This is the first time the social media giant has withdrawn signed, full-time offers from potential employees and follows its first mass layoffs last fall.
100 Thieves has become one of the most recognizable brands in esports, but it’s reportedly laying off around 30 workers.
- MAmazon confirms it’s laying off 18,000 workers.
It’s the first time we’ve gotten a concrete number from Amazon since The New York Times reported in November that the company planned on cutting 10,000 jobs.
In November 2022, The New York Times reported that Amazon planned to lay off about 10,000 employees, but that figure has grown.
In an email sent to Vimeo workers and posted online, CEO Anjali Sud said ‘ongoing cost discipline’ was necessary to keep the company sustainable.
- RApple’s market cap is down $1 trillion from its peak exactly one year ago.
On January 3rd, 2022, the value of Apple’s shares briefly crossed $3 trillion.
Today, on January 3rd, 2023, the value of $AAPL shares fell to 125.07 at the market’s close, a 52-week low that sets its market cap at a frankly piddling $1.99 trillion. Now analysts are predicting a slight decline in revenue when Apple releases its latest quarterly earnings report in a few weeks.
- MMicron will cut 10 percent of its workforce next year.
The chipmaker announced the plan as part of its earnings report on Wednesday, saying the reduction would come from “a combination of voluntary attrition” and layoffs throughout 2023. The company also won’t be doing bonuses next year and says that executive salaries will be cut too.
Micron recently reported it has 48,000 employees, according to CNBC, meaning around 4,800 positions could be affected.
- MSome ex-Meta employees say they’re not getting full severance.
A group of former Meta employees say they’re only receiving eight weeks of base pay and three months of COBRA as severance — half of what CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised when the mass-layoffs were announced, according to CNBC.
The full-time, non-contract workers, who were in a Meta apprenticeship program, say the company hasn’t responded to their questions with an answer on whether the discrepancy is intentional.
- JGameStop is reportedly cutting more jobs.
Axios reports GameStop has begun another round of layoffs. The scale of the layoff is unclear, but Axios says the blockchain team was “heavily impacted.” In an email to employees obtained by Kotaku, CEO Matt Furlong said the decision to lay off staff was due in part to high inflation and “weakened consumer confidence.”
The company, which gained a lot of notoriety as a meme stock, laid off staff and fired its CFO in July.GameStop begins layoff
The news of Kraken’s layoffs comes just months after CEO Jesse Powell went on a hiring spree for employees who would comply with his ‘crypto-first’ culture, which involves not telling people that what they said was racist.
DoorDash CEO Tony Xu says the company hired too quickly during the covid pandemic and that its operating costs could ‘outgrow’ its revenue.
- MJob cuts are coming to a Silicon Valley original.
HP, one of the world’s largest PC vendors, according to data from Gartner, announced in an earnings report that it’ll lay off 4,000 to 6,000 employees by the end of 2025. According to numbers cited by CNBC, that’s between seven and 11 percent of its workforce.
- EAlexa isn’t pulling its weight.
Internal documents obtained by Insider indicate that Amazon’s Alexa division made up the “vast majority” of the over $3 billion that the company lost across its “Worldwide Digital” department, which includes Alexa, Echo devices, Prime Video, and other products.Amazon is gutting its voice-assistant Alexa.
The company, which was founded by two engineers from the Google self-driving car project, said in a note to staff that it hired too quickly in 2021.