As the pandemic continues to impact the global economy, many businesses are being forced to downsize their operations. Even tech giants are not exempt from this trend, with names like Robinhood, LinkedIn, and Oracle all making notable cutbacks.
The popular stock-trading app is now letting go of around 7% of its full-time staff, or approximately 150 people. A spokesperson from Robinhood assured the public that these changes are being made to “ensure operational excellence” and may involve adjustments to workload, org design, and other factors.
Last week brought news that Oracle Corp. has laid off hundreds of employees, cancelled open positions, and even rescinded job offers at their health unit. As of this writing, Oracle has not yet issued a statement regarding this development.
Many other tech companies have found themselves in a similar position, from Meta to PayPal. It remains to be seen how the industry will adapt to these sweeping changes and what the long-term effects will be.
Spotify Technology SA recently announced plans to lay off approximately 200 employees, which accounts for 2% of the company’s workforce. In a statement, Sahar Elhabashi, head of Spotify’s Podcast Business, revealed that the company is expanding its efforts to partner with leading podcasters around the world with a “tailored approach” optimized for each show and creator. “This fundamental pivot from a more uniform proposition will allow us to support the creator community better,” she added.
Reports claim that Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s cloud unit has started laying off 7% of its staff in late May. This news was first reported by Bloomberg.
As per reports, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. had its third round of layoffs in late May. The company declined to comment on the latest cuts, which are part of the 21,000 jobs that Meta is planning to eliminate by 2023 as part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s “year of efficiency” initiative. In April, LinkedIn posts revealed that the company’s second round of layoffs focused on technical positions.
Restructuring at Meta and LinkedIn Continues
Mark Zuckerberg announced during a conference call on April 26th that Meta (formerly Facebook) had completed two of the three planned waves of restructuring and layoffs. The first two waves targeted Meta’s recruitment and technical groups. Last November, the company announced its first ever layoffs, which would affect 13% of its workforce. Meta’s CEO admitted to having expanded the company too quickly during the pandemic, which led to the need for restructuring.
LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft Corp., has also announced plans to eliminate more than 700 positions and discontinue its local jobs app in China. LinkedIn’s CEO, Ryan Roslansky, shared in an email to employees that the company’s Global Business Organization and China strategy would be amended to accommodate these changes. LinkedIn has over 20,000 employees worldwide.
These restructuring efforts are part of a larger trend among tech giants in which they are paring down their workforces. As the industry becomes increasingly crowded and competitive, many companies are seeking to streamline operations in order to remain agile and efficient.
Amazon’s Layoffs in AWS and Human Resources Departments
Amazon.com Inc. has recently undergone some layoffs in its Amazon Web Services and human resources departments. Adam Selipsky, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, wrote in a message to employees that the decision to eliminate some roles was a difficult one, and that conversations with affected employees have started, with notification messages sent to all affected employees in the U.S., Canada and Costa Rica. Local processes in other regions may result in longer timelines for communication with impacted employees.
In addition, Beth Galetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of People Experience and Technology (PXT), announced in a message to employees that additional roles were being eliminated within the PXT organization.
This comes as Amazon.com made an announcement in March that it would be eliminating 9,000 jobs, on top of the 18,000 layoffs announced in January. CEO Andy Jassy said that the cuts would primarily affect Amazon Web Services, People Experience and Technology Solutions, advertising and Twitch.
Dan Clancy, CEO of Amazon’s Twitch subsidiary, announced in a blog post that just over 400 people would be laid off from the live-streaming service.
Related: LinkedIn to lay off 700 workers and shut down its China app
Dropbox and Electronic Arts cut workforce due to economic downturn
Online-storage company Dropbox Inc. has announced plans to cut 16% of its workforce, which amounts to around 500 employees. The decision was made as a result of slowing business growth due to the natural maturation of existing businesses and challenges presented by the ongoing economic downturn. The company aims to reduce operating expenses by reducing headcount and severing projects that do not contribute to the business strategy. According to FactSet data, Dropbox’s sales growth rate has fallen from 15.2% in 2020 to 7.7% in 2022.
The company expects to incur an estimated charge of $37 million to $42 million associated with the cuts, primarily for severance payments, employee benefits, and related costs.
Videogame publisher Electronic Arts Inc. intends to cut 6% of its workforce, equivalent to about 800 employees, in a bid to reduce the company’s operating expenses and optimize its real estate footprint. CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed this plan in a note sent to employees explaining that they are moving away from projects that do not contribute to their strategy and restructuring some of their teams.
As of March 31, 2022, EA had 12,900 employees.
Major Companies Announce Layoffs in 2023
Several major companies have recently announced layoffs in an effort to cut costs in 2023. Among them are technology companies such as Roku, Palantir Technologies, Twilio, Affirm Holdings, Zoom Video Communications, eBay, Dell Technologies, Okta, Splunk, PayPal Holdings, International Business Machines Corp., SAP, Lam Research Corp., Spotify Technology, Google parent Alphabet Inc., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Coinbase Global Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Salesforce Inc., and Kaltura Inc.
The layoffs are impacting employees across various departments and job positions and have been attributed to various reasons including cost-cutting measures, company restructuring, and technological advancements. While these layoffs have been difficult for employees and their families, companies hope to emerge stronger and more agile than before.
It remains to be seen how these layoffs will impact the overall job market and economy. However, for now, employees in these companies and industries are bracing themselves for a challenging year ahead.