Ken Brotherston, CEO at TALiNT Partners

Big Tech tumbles staff numbers

Microsoft, Salesforce, Meta and Twitter make mass staff cuts

Big names in Big Tech are letting go of staff at what is said to be the most dramatic cull in tech sector history. Meta has laid off more than 11,000 employees thereby reducing its headcount by around 13 percent, while Microsoft announced at the end of October that it’s laying off around 1,000, with numbers still to be confirmed. Elon Musk led the charge, however, by laying off around half of its workforce when he took control of the social media platform on October 27. This, in a bid to run a financially healthier business by taking it private and enhancing his unilateral power as CEO.

Salesforce has joined the avalanche with an announcement of 2,500 redundancies in the US, with the jury still out on whether or not the mass layoffs will reach UK shores.

Meta, the social media giant, is battling falling revenues and rising competition despite reporting profits in excess of £23 billion. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg emailed employees on Wednesday morning informing them of the redundancies.

He said: “I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted.” Zuckerberg said revenue growth experienced during the pandemic had not been sustained, ad performance was down, and ecommerce had declined, all in an environment of economic downturn.

He added: “[These factors] caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.” Despite drops in share prices and apprehension around Zuckerburg’s Metaverse development, he has said that investment in Real Labs will continue.

Why? the industry is asking. Since the pandemic, the tech industry has seen an explosion of use of and investment in tech, probably since Facebook’s arrival 18 years ago. The result of rising inflation and reduced revenue seem to be the main reasons for the slew of mass redundancies, even in the face of reporting massive revenue over the last year.

Ken Brotherston, TALiNT Partners CEO said: “First of all, it’s only the most dramatic cull in tech history if you’re under 40. The dot com reverse was quicker and deeper in percentage terms but, of course, that isn’t any comfort if you are one of the people affected. What might offer some succour however is that we still have a pretty robust employment market with a lot of the skills previously valued by these big tech firms still in high demand from lots of other employers.”

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