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.
Still, until now, Apple’s lack of layoffs has set it apart from many big tech companies that have announced major cuts. Those include:
Apple’s layoffs seem to be on a massively smaller scale, but it appears it can no longer act as an example of a company that hasn’t resorted to laying off employees.
According to the Monday reports, the jobs Apple’s cutting are in the division that handles building and upkeep for its retail stores, and affected employees have been told that they have until the end of the week to apply for other positions at the company. Apple is offering up to four months of severance pay for those that aren’t able to stay, according to Bloomberg.
While these are the first reported layoffs of full-time employees at Apple since the big tech cuts began, the company has been paring down costs in other ways, with CEO Tim Cook telling The Wall Street Journal that layoffs were “a last resort.” Last month, Bloomberg reported that it’d been laying off contractors, leaving some newly-opened positions unfilled and slowing down hiring for some departments, delaying bonuses, reducing travel budgets, pushing back projects, and more.