Layoffs continue at Amazon, Meta, Samsung, Ericsson and more

The tech industry continues to be plagued by layoffs, with nearly 150,000 employees impacted since the start of 2023.

Amazon is the latest to announce a significant number of cuts, in an attempt to streamline costs.

“We intend to eliminate about 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks—mostly in AWS, PXT, Advertising, and Twitch. This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term,” said chief executive officer (CEO), Andy Jassy in a memo on Monday.

The company eliminated 18,000 positions in January, citing similar reasons, including uncertain economic conditions, and overhiring during the pandemic, as well as the aim to be “leaner while doing so in a way that enables us to still invest robustly in the key long-term customer experiences.”

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy noted that approximately 400 people would be let go, adding that Twitch’s user and revenue growth hasn’t “kept pace with our expectations.”

Affected employees will be supported with packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.

Last week, Meta also announced another 10,000 job cuts, and a hiring freeze for around 5,000 additional roles. The company’s recruiting team is the first to be impacted, while tech and business groups will be notified in late April and May, respectively.

Late last year, Meta laid off more than 11,000 employees.

Pitching 2023 as the year of efficiency, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, shared plans to  remove multiple layers of management, cancel lower priority projects, ensure the company remains technology-focused, invest in AI and prioritise more in-person work.

Meta also said in a SEC filing that it expects to lower expenses in 2023 by between US$86 billion and US$92 billion.

On the same day, Samsung laid off 3 per cent of employees at its U.S. semiconductor subsidiary, Device Solutions Americas (DSA). 

In Q4 2022, the South Korean giant recorded $204 million in operating profit in the semiconductor division, representing a dramatic decline of 96.9 per cent from Q4 2021.

Intel also suffered from the volatility of the chip market over the past two years, reporting an operating loss of US$700 million in Q4 2022 and announcing over 300 job cuts earlier this year. Additionally, CEO Pat Gelsinger took a pay cut of 25 per cent.

Fellow computer maker Dell also cut 6,650 jobs in early February as it faced a 28 per cent decline in global PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Other tech companies blighted by layoffs since the beginning of 2023 include Ericsson (8,500 jobs), Twilio (1,500 jobs), Yahoo (1,600 jobs), Zoom (1,300 jobs),  Atlassian (500 jobs), DocuSign (680 jobs), eBay (500 jobs and Okta (300 jobs).

Meanwhile, Google employees sent an open letter to CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday to demand that the company do better in handling its layoffs. The company slashed 12,000 jobs in January.

Signed by 1,400 workers, the letter said: “Nowhere have workers’ voices adequately been considered, and we know that as workers we are stronger together than alone.”

Additionally, more than 100 former employees have organized a group they call “Laid off on Leave” demanding that the company respect scheduled leaves such as maternity, carer’s, and bereavement, and not to give notice of layoffs until the employee’s leave is finished.

The letter included heart-wrenching accounts of workers laid off when on leave, including one while caring for a terminally-ill parent, another a week before giving birth.

Employees also demanded that Google does not terminate employment of workers whose visas would be affected, when they would be forced to return to unsafe and unstable countries.

Finally, asking Google to promptly respond to employee concerns, the letter referred to Google’s core principle – “Don’t be evil”.

Here’s the full letter:

Source: Mashable

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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