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Monday March 04, 2024

Big tech's layoff wave claims thousands of jobs worldwide

Meta announced on Tuesday that it will shed 10,000 jobs over the next few months

By AFP
March 15, 2023
This file illustration photo taken on January 12, 2023, in Toulouse, southwestern France, shows a smartphone and a computer screen displaying the logos of the social network Facebook and its parent company Meta.— AFP
This file illustration photo taken on January 12, 2023, in Toulouse, southwestern France, shows a smartphone and a computer screen displaying the logos of the social network Facebook and its parent company Meta.— AFP  

PARIS: Facebook owner Meta’s announcement on Tuesday that it will shed 10,000 jobs over the next few months is the latest in a series of mass layoffs in the once-unassailable tech sector, which is facing a huge downturn.

The cuts in the company that also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, follow a cull of 11,000 jobs announced in November.

Here are the others:

Amazon

The online retail giant said on January 5, 2023, it would cut more than 18,000 jobs, citing "the uncertain economy" and the fact it had "hired rapidly" during the Covid pandemic.

During Covid, Amazon had gone on a hiring spree to meet an explosion in demand for deliveries, doubling its global staff between the beginning of 2020 and the start of 2022.

At the end of September, the group had 1.54 million employees worldwide.

Google

On January 20, Google’s parent company Alphabet announced about 12,000 job cuts globally, citing a changing "economic reality".

"Over the past two years, we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today," CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees.

Alphabet employed nearly 187,000 workers worldwide at the end of September 2022. The cuts represent a little over 6% of its total workforce.

Microsoft

On January 18, Microsoft announced it would lay off 10,000 employees in the coming months.

The cuts were "in response to macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities," the maker of the Windows operating system said in a US regulatory filing.

The plan followed two smaller rounds of layoffs in 2022, one in July affecting less than 1% of the workforce and a second in October targeting under 1,000 people.

Twitter

Just a week after his blockbuster takeover, Elon Musk sacked half of Twitter’s 7,500-strong staff in November as part of his major overhaul of the troubled company.

Workers around the world were shown the door and took to Twitter to vent their frustration or disbelief and say goodbye to one of Silicon Valley’s most iconic companies.

In late February, the New York Times reported that Twitter’s workforce has dropped since late October to 2,000 from 7,500 employees, counting layoffs and resignations.

The cull is part of Musk’s push to find ways to pay for the mammoth $44 billion deal for which he took on billions of dollars in debt.

Snap

At the end of August, Snapchat’s parent company Snap let go of about 20% of its employees, around 1,200 people, in a bid by the photo-centric messaging app to confront fierce competition and revenue worries.

While its user numbers continue to grow - 375 million daily users - it is saddled by diminishing profits and competition from other apps, such as TikTok.