A character played by George Clooney in the 2009 film said, “We’re here to make the frontier bearable, and wounded souls to cross the river of terror.” up in the air, a tragicomedy about the sensitive and brutal art of dismissing people. Alas, thousands of his Googlers found themselves in a river of utter destruction on his Friday, January 20th.
Instead of a gentle face-to-face, they received the bad news via email.A Googler Learns He’s Lost His Job After 17 Years When the card key failsBobby Nath, VP of UX, wakes up to find himself locked out of Google Nest, which was synced to his work account. His Google layoffs on Friday, which eliminated his 6% of the company’s global staff, are the latest in a wave of tech downsizing that began in early summer 2022 and has accelerated since.
The “technology industry” is a moody and controversial category, and layoffs are caused by a variety of reasons. They include over-enthusiastic hiring in the era of the pandemic, declining ad spending due to inflation, declining venture capital due to rising interest rates, and, in the case of Twitter, Elon Musk’s Elon Musk.
According to Layoffs.fyi, the tech sector will lose around 150,000 jobs in 2022 (including Meta, Twitter, and Uber), with more than 50,000 announced job cuts in 2023. These numbers are probably underestimated, according to site creator Roger Lee. (Lee, who is also co-founder of a startup that offers his 401(k)s to small businesses, explained his methodology to me over email, or validated in other ways.”)
In alphabetical order (sorry, alphabetical), here are the companies that have announced the most job cuts so far in 2023 (as far as we know):
1. Alphabet, parent company of Google: 12,000 job cuts (6% of the company’s workforce)
Google’s layoffs on Friday stood out for their speed and the company’s ability to keep layoffs private (compared to Amazon, whose layoffs were leaked earlier). The cut included long-tenured staff who had joined the company during its “do no evil” era.
Layoffs are particularly difficult for US Silicon Valley workers on H1-B visas, but they also affect offices around the world. They address both industry-wide trends and emerging competition. The New York Times reported that Google has warned the rise of its AI writing tool ChatGPT as an existential “code red” and is rearranging its priorities accordingly.
2. Amazon: 18,000 jobs cut (1.2% of the company’s workforce)
Amazon announced in early January that it would lay off a total of 18,000 employees, including 2,300 head office staff who got the news last week. (Some headcount reductions that began rolling out in November 2022 are included in that number.) The headcount reductions primarily affect HR, devices, and store teams.
“Do you like the idea of influencing a global workforce and turning Amazon into the best employer on the planet?” asks the Amazon Human Resources team website. There are currently no jobs posted and Amazon is still not the best employer on the planet.
3. Amdocs: 700 jobs cut (2.5% of the company’s workforce)
Amdocs isn’t a household name per se, but they provide backend software and services to major telecommunications companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Comcast, and Dish. The company seems to be doing really well now. Stock prices are high and earnings are growing.
The Israeli business newspaper Globes reported that Amdocs’ layoff was done “out of responsibility and awareness of what was happening in the world”. Whatever is happening at Amdocs, this statement implies a very real factor in the growing wave of layoffs.
4. Black Shark: Cut 900 people (90% of the company’s workforce)
This Chinese gaming phone startup is making smartphones like the Game Boy. Next up was to make a virtual reality headset. Instead, it has been cutting jobs since a deal to buy media giant Tencent fell through last June.
The South China Morning Post reported that the company now has about 100 employees and is avoiding severance payments. The company is one of many startups that have been forced to cut back in the face of changing consumer spending. Investors are reluctant to part with their cash in this new era of high interest rates.
5. Capital One: 1,100 jobs cut (2% of the company’s workforce)
On the other end of the size spectrum, Capital One has just announced a drastic reduction in its “agile” teams managing technology projects, and The Wall Street Journal reports that layoffs in the tech sector have spilled over into engineering layoffs at large companies. I think it will encourage other sectors.
Is Capital One on this list? Again, the line between “technology” and “non-technology” is blurry. Banks behave like tech companies, and tech companies behave like banks. (Starbucks, with its hugely successful reloadable digital gift card program, is arguably becoming both.)
Many jobs lost in the “tech sector” were not really software engineering jobs. Capital One continues to hire for in-demand technology skills such as machine learning and cybersecurity. As with any restructuring, struggling products or “non-essential” services (such as helping Capital One engineers manage their time or helping Amazon employees enjoy their work) The team responsible for is probably the first thing to worry about.
6. Coinbase: Cut 950 people (20% of the company’s workforce)
Speaking of companies that act like banks but aren’t regulated as such, cryptocurrency platform Coinbase is cutting 20% of its remaining staff after already cutting about 1,100 roles in the fall. . This is related to the FTX crypto exchange debacle.
The cryptocurrency industry is struggling after FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s Enron-level fraud case. Cryptocurrency exchange Wire has completely closed down this year. Blockchain.com, Crypto.com, Genesis, Huobi and SuperRare have each announced they will cut his role by more than 20% in 2023, according to layoffs.fyi. Many cryptocurrency players made significant cuts last year.
7. Flexport: 640 (20% of company employees)
The delivery and transportation logistics startup, which boomed thanks to early pandemic online shopping, plans to cut 20% of its team across the division. Flexport will also employ 400 engineers.
The company told employees, as reported by Reuters, that “the current slowdown in sales volumes has given us time to focus on building our tech bench while the economy remains stagnant.” While layoffs are painful, they are also an opportunity for companies to attract new talent in other areas.
8. Microsoft: 10,000 job cuts (5% of the company’s workforce)
Microsoft, like many other tech giants with the exception of Apple, hired too many people during the weird pandemic boom. They are currently adjusting for how life will return to normal.
“These companies understood that the lockdown-enhanced growth curve wouldn’t last forever, but they were planning as if it were,” said Alex Kantrowitz. wrote in November. “Getting it wrong could mean cutting staff and missing out on revenue expectations, but not taking the opportunity means losing markets if COVID-inspired behavior continues.”
9. Salesforce: Cut 8,000 people (10% of the company’s workforce)
Like its tech giant peers, Salesforce has continued to hire and is no longer hiring. His 1,000 jobs cut by the company in 2022 are on top of recent layoffs at Salesforce.
Slack, which Salesforce acquired in 2022, announced earlier this month that it would cut 10% of its team. But Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said the layoffs would hurt anyway. According to a message viewed by a Fortune reporter, he found a ray of hope. Salesforce offers a “relatively generous” retirement package.
10. Wayfair: 1,750 jobs cut (10% of the company’s workforce)
For white-collar workers, the pandemic has ushered in a golden age and the subsequent decline of “clofis” and a boom in home furnishings. Now his Wayfair, a furniture retailer, is cleaning homes due to lower consumer spending. The announcement sent Wayfair’s stock up by 20%.
Tech companies laying off hundreds of employees in 2023 include Spotify, StitchFix, Teladoc, WeWork, Qualtrics, Informatica and Sophos. Sector-wide layoffs prompt comparisons to the dot-com bankruptcy. In his five years in the early 2000s, the New York Times reported that the tech sector had lost 25% of his jobs. This is a very different economic time (a moment of déjà vu, but HP announced in late 2022 that by 2025 he would let go of 4,000 to 6,000 employees).
On Twitter, commentators likened the cold efficiency of Friday’s Google layoffs to dotcom layoffs at IBM and HP/Compaq. But at the time, a painful furlough and years of uncertainty loomed. As someone whose childhood memories of company picnics and taking the kids to work are blurry, along with the general gloominess of the Carly Fiorina days at HP, here’s what I can say.you, probably a quick lockout number one.