First, it was Twitter with its mass layoffs (and rehiring some of the fired employees soon after). Then, yesterday, it was Facebook's parent company Meta with its biggest layoff to date, with 11,000 employees to have been fired.
But even apart from these two giants, mass firings have been the highlight of the whole October-November bracket this year, making this year's winter a particularly unfortunate season for the tech world.
Twitter fires 50% of its workforce and then rehires some two days later: Ever since Elon Musk's controversial rise to power as Twitter CEO and the sole member of its advisory board, Twitter has been going through some major changes.
Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.
Plot twist: However, two days later, on November 7, insiders suggested that Twitter is now looking to rehire some of its employees as some of the firings were accidental and some of the fired employees would be required to fit in new job roles envisioned by Musk in his new Twitter.
Multiple sources and Twitter Blind chats now saying that the company has begun to reach out to some people it laid off yesterday asking them to come back. Whoops! 🥴— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) November 6, 2022
Meta estimated to fire 11,000 employees, biggest layoff for the company: As of November 9, mass layoffs were expected at Meta with CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself claiming in a board meeting that his "over-optimism" led to "overstaffing".
Microsoft laid off nearly 1,000 employees in October: In the yearly quarter than ended on September 30, Microsoft reported its slowest revenue growth in more than five years.
"Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly," a Microsoft spokesperson was quoted by media outlets.
Stripe fired 14% of workers in November: Irish-American online payments giant Stripe is one of the latest companies to fire its employees; an estimated 14% of its workforce.
a ton of twitter, stripe, lyft and meta employees are all looking for jobs (and probably competing with each other). wonder what % will stay in big tech, vs join a startup vs start one themselves..— natasha (@nmasc_) November 9, 2022
To quote Collins's e-mail, "We, the founders, made this decision. We overhired for the world we’re in, and it pains us to be unable to deliver the experience that we hoped that those impacted would have at Stripe.”
BYJU'S axes jobs of 2,500 people even though its valuation has increased: October has been a profitable month for edutech giant BYJU'S with its valuation standing at $22 billion in October (having raised $250 million from existing investors in that month's funding round).
At the same time, over 2,500 BYJU'S employees had to quit their jobs chiefly because of job redundancy or duplication of their job roles.
Amazon and Apple rely on corporate freezings for now: Amid much rumour, Amazon and Apple haven't relied on any mass firings (yet) but both companies have announced a freeze in new jobs.
The reasons behind the freeze are uncertain.
Apple: Freezing hiring for 2023 bc of economic instability (2 days ago)— Golem (@BowTiedGolem) November 3, 2022
Amazon: Freezing hiring for 2023 bc of economic instability (yesterday)
Square: Fires 14% of Staff (today)
NASDAQ: Down 35% YTD
S&P: Down 22.5% YTD
White House: https://t.co/1RPKnLvGUc pic.twitter.com/6zEk8IOPgG
Apple has been transparent in announcing that this holiday season would bring low growth levels for the company. The production of iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max has also been severely affected due to China's zero Covid policy, adding to Apple's economic troubles.
Lyft fires 13% of its staff, 700 jobs cut: November 3 proved to be a dark day for most of the Silicon Valley companies as even taxi service Lyft fired 13% of its workforce that day (700 employees).
The laid-off workers have been promised 10 weeks of pay, and healthcare coverage till April, and recruiting assistance. The CEO added that employees who had been there for more than four years will get an extra four weeks of pay.
What does this mean for Silicon Valley's future? The post-pandemic future for tech companies is as uncertain as ever. Meta's example shows how destructive overhiring and overstaffing can be for the long run; while BYJU'S reveals its blunder of job duplication with more and more people getting involved in jobs that can be handled by fewer workers.