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.
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:
Apr 20“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 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 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 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 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:
Electronic Arts is laying off around 6 percent of its workforce, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. In a blog post published on Wednesday, EA CEO Andrew Wilson says the job cuts come as the game publisher looks to reevaluate its investment strategy and reduce office space.Read Article >
“As we drive greater focus across our portfolio, we are moving away from projects that do not contribute to our strategy, reviewing our real estate footprint, and restructuring some of our teams,” Wilson states. “These decisions are expected to impact approximately six percent of our company’s workforce.”
Lucid, the EV startup behind the Air sedan that competes with the Tesla Model S, has announced that it’s laying off around 1,300 employees, or 18 percent of its workforce, within the next few months. According to an email from CEO Peter Rawlinson, which was attached to a regulatory filing, the cuts will affect employees and contractors “in nearly every organization and level, including executives.”Read Article >
Rawlinson says employees will hear more about the layoffs over the next three days, and the filing says the restructuring should be complete “by the end of the second quarter of 2023.” The email says that employees who are let go will receive “career resources, Lucid-paid healthcare coverage continuation, and acceleration of equity,” and the filing says that the company plans to spend around $24 million to $30 million in “charges related to employee transition, severance payments, employee benefits, and stock-based compensation.”
Mar 22The site that’s supposed to help people find jobs is laying off thousands of people.
In an announcement, Indeed CEO Chris Hyams says the jobs listing company is cutting around 2,200 jobs across all departments, marking yet another tech business impacted by the rough economy.
Hyams said he takes “sole accountability” for the move, and states that he’ll be taking a 25 percent cut in base pay:
With future job openings at or below pre-pandemic levels, our organization is simply too big for what lies ahead... We have held out longer than many other companies, but the revenue trends are undeniable. So I have decided to act now.Indeed Lays Off 2,200 People, or 15% of Staff, as Job Postings Drop
Amazon will be shutting down DPReview, the trusted and comprehensive camera reviews website, as part of the 18,000 job cuts it announced in January. According to an announcement posted on the site, the DPReview team will continue publishing reviews and other content until April 10th, after which “the site will be locked, with no further updates made.”Read Article >
The site, started in 1998, has become a cornerstone of camera journalism through thorough and thoughtful reviews. If you ever researched DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, or lenses, you’ve almost certainly come across its content. Personally, I spent hours pouring over the outlet’s charts, image samples, and notes on autofocus performance before I bought my first big camera, a Nikon D500.
Mar 20How Apple’s avoiding layoffs: delaying bonus payments, pausing hiring, cutting travel budgets.
Sure, Apple didn’t go on the “hiring binges” during the pandemic that some of its rivals did. But it also understands something its rivals don’t: layoffs are a strong signal that the c-suite screwed up.
Mar 20Amazon’s layoffs included ‘just over 400’ job cuts at Twitch.
“Like many companies, our business has been impacted by the current macroeconomic environment, and user and revenue growth has not kept pace with our expectations,” according to Clancy. “In order to run our business sustainably, we’ve made the very difficult decision to shrink the size of our workforce.”
You can read more about Amazon’s layoffs in our post from earlier today.
Amazon is laying off another 9,000 workers, according to a memo to employees CEO Andy Jassy sent to workers on Monday. The employees affected by the cut include those in roles in AWS, Twitch, advertising, and human resources.Read Article >
In his memo, Jassy cites the “uncertain economy” as the reason for the cuts and says the company has “chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount.” Amazon just got done laying off a total of 18,000 people across the company late last year and in January, which included workers in its hardware and services, human resources, and retail teams.
Mar 14Even Apple can’t escape the economy.
The company is delaying some bonuses and limiting some hiring, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The company has so far not done huge layoffs like Meta’s second big layoff, which was announced earlier today, but it’s still taking some measures to cut costs.
Meta will lay off an additional 10,000 employees through multiple rounds of cuts over the coming two months, close hiring for 5,000 open roles, and cancel more low-priority projects, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Tuesday. These cuts come just four months after he laid off 11,000 employees, or 13 percent of the company, last November.Read Article >
The first wave of layoffs will start this week and impact Meta’s recruiting organization, followed by a second wave for tech roles in April and a third focused on business roles in late May. “My hope is to make these org changes as soon as possible in the year so we can get past this period of uncertainty and focus on the critical work ahead,” Zuckerberg wrote in a memo to employees that was also posted on his Facebook page.
Mar 1Waymo has laid off over 200 employees this year.
The autonomous car unit shares its parent company, Alphabet, with Google, which in January cut over 12,000 jobs or about six percent of its workforce. The Information reports that after a new round of layoffs affecting primarily engineers, Waymo has let go of about 8 percent of the people working there.Alphabet’s Robotaxi Unit Waymo Says it Laid Off 8%
Feb 28Cerebral’s laying off even more staff.
After cutting 20 percent of its workforce in October, the telehealth company is now reportedly laying off another 15 percent. The company is under investigation for how it perscribed controlled drugs like Adderall or Xanax.
Feb 11Meta’s “year of efficiency” reportedly isn’t off to a good start.
According to a report from The Financial Times, Meta employees say things are “still a mess” and that “zero work” is getting done because the company hasn’t provided clear guidance surrounding budgets for various projects.
Feb 9Thursday has brought even more layoff news.
Yahoo is reportedly laying off around 20 percent of its workforce, including 1,600 people in its ad tech department, according to Axios.
It’s not the only tech company making cuts today — Deliveroo is getting rid of around 350 jobs, and both GitLab and GitHub are laying off staff. The latter is also planning to close all its offices and go fully remote.
Zoom is laying off about 15 percent of its staff, which means about 1,300 people will lose their jobs, according to a memo from Zoom CEO Eric Yuan that the company posted on its blog. “Each organization” at the company will be affected by the cuts, Yuan said.Read Article >
The company scaled up rapidly as people shifted to remote work during the pandemic, and Zoom grew three times in size within 24 months. However, “we didn’t take as much time as we should have to thoroughly analyze our teams or assess if we were growing sustainably, toward the highest priorities,” Yuan wrote. “The uncertainty of the global economy, and its effect on our customers, means we need to take a hard — yet important — look inward to reset ourselves so we can weather the economic environment, deliver for our customers and achieve Zoom’s long-term vision.”