Remember when COVID pushed us all into the digital world, and tech companies couldn’t hire fast enough? Well, fast forward to today, and we’re in the midst of a tech bubble burst, with layoffs hitting the industry like a series of digital aftershocks. Join us on this rollercoaster ride as we explore the highs, lows, and everything in between.
The Rise and Fall
So, what happened? Picture this: tech companies, fueled by the digital shift during the pandemic, went on a hiring spree. But as we entered the second half of 2022, the bubble burst. Layoffs became the new normal, with companies realising they might’ve hired a tad too aggressively during the pandemic frenzy.
It’s déjà vu, reminiscent of the dot-com boom and bust. Not all companies are affected equally; those who sprinted during the boom are now slamming the brakes.
November 2023 Layoffs
Amidst the chaos, there are winners and losers. IT pros with cybersecurity, cloud, and data analytics/machine learning skills remain in high demand, dodging the layoffs so far. Let’s dive into the casualty list – the big tech layoffs in November 2023.
After a $69 billion acquisition of VMware, Broadcom dropped the layoff bomb, axing 2,110 employees. Brace yourself; it might be just the beginning.
Vox Media trims its workforce by 4%, facing a battle for ad revenue, impacting product, design, and tech teams. This marks the second round of layoffs for the digital media firm this year after a previous round of layoffs in March.
The videogame software giant Unity announces a 4% global workforce cut (265 people) and shuts down offices worldwide.
New York’s big data company Dataminr lays off 150 people (25% of the workforce) to focus on AI platform advancement.
The German micromobility operator lets go of 140 employees (22% of the workforce) to chase that elusive profitability.
Following Broadcom’s acquisition, VMware cut over 2,100 jobs. The total might climb to a staggering 20,000, so stay tuned.
The maker of TikTok sheds 1,000 jobs in its gaming division amid a global economic downturn. Facing a global economic downturn, ByteDance’s Pico, the virtual reality arm, recently laid off 300 employees. ByteDance is shifting its focus to generative AI, divesting from gaming.
Our Next Energy
In a bid to cut costs, the electric-vehicle battery startup lays off 128 employees (25% of the workforce). Despite a February funding round that raised $300 million and valued the company at $1.2 billion, ONE is strategically adapting to market challenges.
The eco-friendly homes construction tech startup goes from a billion-dollar valuation to shutting down, leaving investors in the lurch.
CEO Sam Altman gets fired, and President Greg Brockman resigns, shaking up the AI research organisation. In a surprising turn of events, Altman returned to OpenAI on November 21, taking on the role of CEO. Alongside his return, he introduced a fresh board comprising Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo. Read more for a detailed inside scoop (link to Article #2 ).
Amazon’s Alexa division is set to develop new forms of AI. Several hundred roles will be terminated as part of this strategic realignment. Daniel Rausch, Vice President of Alexa and Fire TV, emphasised the importance of maximising resources for generative AI efforts, positioning Amazon to stay competitive in the rapidly advancing field.
Black Friday Strikes
On Black Friday, Amazon faced strikes across Europe due to working conditions, adding more fuel to the fire.
Amazon’s gaming division is undergoing a significant transformation, with over 180 layoffs and the closure of parts of the business focusing on streaming and supporting third-party games. Christoph Hartmann, VP of Amazon Games, highlighted the company’s commitment to developing its own titles and upcoming launches, signalling a shift in priorities.
London-based startup Beamery is navigating financial challenges by laying off 25% of its workforce. This decision, the second round of cuts this year, reflects the company’s commitment to long-term success and a proactive approach to ensure a path to profitability amidst economic uncertainties.
Chewy, the online pet supplies company, is realigning its workforce, resulting in the layoff of over 200 employees. CEO Sumit Singh cites concerns about inflation impacting consumer behaviour, prompting a strategic shift for Chewy to become a more agile and disciplined company in a changing market.
E-commerce platform BigCommerce is streamlining its workforce, laying off 7% to sustain growth and improve its go-to-market approach. CFO Daniel Lentz emphasised the challenges in the industry and the company’s determination to be a leader in the evolving B2B e-commerce space.
Nextdoor announced a cost reduction plan involving a 25% reduction in its employee base. CEO Sarah Friar outlined the need to align the business with near-term revenue expectations, ensuring a financially strong future. CFO Mike Doyle is resigning, with Matt Anderson appointed as the new CFO.
The Airbnb-backed property management startup Zeus Living, is shutting down operations entirely due to rising interest rates and challenges in the real estate tech sector. Despite previous funding, financial struggles led to this drastic decision.
Crypto startup Ava Labs is laying off 12% of its workforce to reallocate resources for the growth of the firm and the Avalanche ecosystem. CEO Emin Gün Sirer sees this as a strategic move in a crypto landscape that continues to evolve.
Pico, the China-based VR arm of ByteDance, is restructuring due to weakening global demand for VR headsets. The focus will shift towards hardware and core technologies as Pico adapts to the evolving landscape of the VR industry.
Seattle-based F5, a leader in application security and delivery, is laying off 120 people (2% of its workforce) to align investments with initiatives that accelerate its hybrid and multi-cloud application security and delivery strategy.
Chinese EV maker Nio is laying off 10% of its workforce as it plans to spin off non-core businesses to lower costs and improve efficiency. CEO William Li acknowledges the need for restructuring amid sales challenges and financial losses.
NFT marketplace startup OpenSea is undergoing a significant restructuring, with a 50% reduction in its workforce. Co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer emphasises a shift towards “OpenSea 2.0,” signalling a focus on product upgrades and a more efficient operational approach.
Global communications company Viasat is streamlining its business operations, laying off 800 employees (10% of its workforce) to align with its ongoing strategy in a rapidly changing communications landscape.
Despite positive third-quarter earnings, California-based data management company Informatica is laying off 545 employees (10% of its workforce). In a podcast conversation, CEO Amit Walia introduces a new stock repurchase plan amid ongoing market uncertainties.
Cybersecurity firm Splunk, anticipating its acquisition by Cisco, is laying off 500 employees (7% of its global workforce) as part of ongoing initiatives to align resources and operating structure for sustainable value delivery. CEO Gary Steele emphasises the importance of evolving organisational design in the face of market uncertainty.
Wholesale marketplace Faire is undergoing its second round of cuts in just over a year, with a 20% reduction in staff (250 employees). Faire remains committed to connecting independent businesses with local retailers, despite the layoffs, facilitating global trade.
The tech world is like a child just learning to walk
right now. Layoffs are reshaping the industry landscape, with giants falling and newcomers rising. As we navigate these unknown waters, remember the importance of staying informed and adaptable. Whether you’re in tech or just a curious bystander, buckle up because the ride isn’t over yet. Stick with us for more updates on the ever-evolving tech saga.