Layoffs finally hit giants

Cloud major Oracle recently considered laying off thousands of workers to save up to $1 billion in cost-cutting measures…reports Asian Lite News

The economic meltdown has reached Big Tech and Satya Nadella-run Microsoft has become the first tech giant to lay off employees as part of a ‘realignment’.

The layoffs at Microsoft reportedly affect nearly 1 per cent of its 1,80,000-strong workforce across its offices and product divisions.

“Today we had a small number of role eliminations. Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly,” Microsoft told Bloomberg in a statement late on Tuesday.

“We will continue to invest in our business and grow headcount overall in the year ahead,” the company added.

Microsoft has also slowed hiring in the Windows, Teams and Office groups.

Microsoft reported strong earnings in its third quarter, with a 26 per cent jump (on-year) in cloud revenue and overall revenue of $49.4 billion.

However, last month, the company revised its Q4 revenue and earnings guidance downward.

Twitter has also cut 30 per cent of its recruiting team while Elon Musk-run Tesla has been laying off hundreds of employees.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed these layoffs to TechCrunch, without divulging further details or the number of employees affected.

The sacked employees will receive severance packages and the company will “reprioritise’ remaining recruitment staff.

Twitter had earlier announced to halt most hiring across divisions.

As Twitter paused hiring, the micro-blogging platform last month shifted employees away from audio Spaces, Communities and newsletters verticals for areas that “will have the greatest positive impact to the public conversation”.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal in May fired consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour and head of revenue product Bruce Falck, saying there is a hiring freeze now and Twitter will also pause spending in most areas.

Agrawal had said that the company will also be reviewing all extended offers to determine criticality and those that should be pulled back.

“We are not planning company-wide layoffs, but leaders will continue making changes to their organizations to improve efficiencies as needed,” Agrawal had said in a memo to employees.

Twitter has paused most hiring and backfills, except for business critical roles as determined by ‘Staff’ members.

Other tech companies that have slowed hiring include Nvidia, Snap, Uber, Spotify, Intel and Salesforce, among others.

Cloud major Oracle recently considered laying off thousands of workers to save up to $1 billion in cost-cutting measures, the media reported.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk-run Tesla has laid off 229 annotation employees from its Autopilot team and closed one of its offices in the US.

According to a regulatory filing in California state in the US and seen by TechCrunch, Tesla had laid off workers from its San Mateo office that employed 276 workers.

The remaining 47 employees may be sent to work in Tesla’s Buffalo Autopilot office, according to the report.

“Most of the workers were in moderately low-skilled, low-wage jobs, such as Autopilot data labeling, which involves determining if Tesla’s algorithm identified an object well or poorly,” the report added.

The layoffs are part of the 10 per cent reduction in salaried workforce that Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last month.

Tesla started laying off salaried employees after Musk’s announcement, which would result in reducing Tesla’s total headcount by roughly 3.5 per cent.

Tesla employs more than 1,00,000 people across its facilities.

A team of lawyers representing former Tesla employees, who were laid off last month, have sought emergency protection from a US court for the fired workers.

In a motion filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, the lawyers asked the judge “to restrict Tesla’s ability to continue seeking releases from employees in exchange for one week of severance”..

As recession fears grow, the US-based autonomous vehicle technology startup Agro AI, backed by Ford and Volkswagen, has laid off about 150 people and slowed the pace of hiring, making it the latest tech auto company to reduce its workforce.

According to TechCrunch, the layoffs account for about 5 per cent of its more than 2,000 global workforces, according to sources familiar with the company’s actions.

The layoffs were widespread, affecting talent recruiters, digital media and communications employees as well as members of its operations teams, a review of LinkedIn profiles shows, the report said.

“With incredible growth and progress made in our mission to deploy driverless vehicles, we are making prudent adjustments to our business plan to best continue on a path for success,” the startup said in an email statement while confirming layoffs.

A close source, who remained anonymous because they are not authorised to speak on behalf of the company, told TechCrunch that Argo AI had hired too quickly, overshooting where it should be.

The company is still hiring and has dozens of engineering, legal, technical programme management and fleet operations positions open, the report said.

Argo AI, which is based in Pittsburgh, launched driverless testing operations in May 2022 in Miami and Austin, marking the company’s progress towards commercialising its technology.

ALSO READ: Unacademy tightens its belt

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