From HP, Amazon, Roku and Beyond Meat to Meta and Twitter, big names across a number of sectors have announced major layoffs during the fall.
In October, Intel Corp. INTC, -0.94% announced plans for job cuts as it reported its third-quarter results. The chip maker said it is focused on driving $3 billion in cost reductions in 2023. “Inclusive in our efforts will be steps to optimize our headcount,” Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger said during a conference call with analysts to discuss the third-quarter results.
Additional details of the layoffs emerged in early December. The chip maker, which had 121,000-plus employees worldwide at the end of last year, is laying off around 200 employees in California, according to letters sent to the state Employment Development Department. Intel said that 111 employees in Folsom, Calif., and 90 employees in Santa Clara, Calif., which is home to the chipmaker’s headquarters, are affected by the job cuts. The permanent layoffs are scheduled to begin Jan. 31.
Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, -2.10% GOOG, -2.22% is considering cutting 10,000 jobs, according to a report on The Information, which says the layoffs would amount to 6% of the tech giant’s workforce. The company may employ a ranking system that would eliminate the lowest-ranked “poor-performing” employees, the report said.
“Earlier this year, we launched Googler Reviews and Development (GRAD) to help employee development, coaching, learning and career progression throughout the year,” a Google spokesperson told MarketWatch in a statement. “The new system helps establish clear expectations and provide employees with regular feedback.”
The spokesperson declined to comment on the potential job cuts.
HP Inc. HPQ, -1.70% executives announced plans to cut up to 10% of the company’s workforce amid what CEO Enrique Lores described as “a volatile macro environment and softening demand in the second half, with a slowdown on the commercial side.”
“Companies are delaying their refresh [sales] cycle,” Lores told MarketWatch in an interview ahead of the public release of the company’s fourth-quarter results.
HP is launching a three-year workforce-reduction plan meant to shed 4,000 to 6,000 jobs, according to Lores, with more than half of the roughly $1 billion in restructuring costs expected to be realized in the new fiscal year.
In a post on the company’s corporate site, Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon’s devices and services business, said the company would consolidate some teams and programs. “One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles will no longer be required,” he said. Limp didn’t specify how many roles would be affected.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon could eventually cut about 10,000 jobs.
In a subsequent blog post on the company’s corporate site, Chief Executive Andy Jassy said the online retailer is planning additional layoffs, which affected employees will learn more about next year. “Our annual planning process extends into the new year, which means there will be more role reductions as leaders continue to make adjustments,” he wrote. “Those decisions will be shared with impacted employees and organizations early in 2023.”
The tech giant, which recently announced a pause in corporate hiring, has 1.54 million employees, according to its most recent quarterly earnings report.
Cisco Inc. CSCO, -0.84% is planning a “limited business restructuring” that will adjust the networking giant’s real-estate portfolio and affect about 5% of its 80,000-strong global workforce, or some 4,000 people.
“This is about rebalancing across the board,” said Chief Financial Officer Scott Herren, adding that as many jobs will be added as reduced.
“Our goal is to minimize the number of people who end up having to leave,” Herren told MarketWatch. “We will match as many with new roles at the company as we can. This is not about reducing our workforce. In fact, we’ll have roughly the same number of employees at the end of this fiscal year as we had when we started.”
“Due to the current economic conditions in our industry, we have made the difficult decision to reduce Roku’s headcount expenses by a projected 5%, to slow down our [operating-expense] growth rate,” the company said in a brief statement, noting that about 200 positions in the U.S. will be affected. “Taking these actions now will allow us to focus our investments on key strategic priorities to drive future growth and enhance our leadership position,” the statement said.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Roku said it anticipated charges of about $28 million to $31 million related to the job cuts, mainly stemming from severance payments, notice pay, employee benefits and other costs. The company expects to take the bulk of those charges in the fourth quarter of 2022. Implementation of the workforce reductions will be mostly complete by the end of the first quarter of 2023, it said.
Salesforce Inc. CRM, -2.09% laid off hundreds of employees from its sales team, according to news reports, as the tech sector as a whole wrestles with a challenging economic environment.
Axios reported that the San Francisco-based company laid off several hundred workers. “Our sales performance process drives accountability,” said a Salesforce spokesperson in a statement emailed to MarketWatch. “Unfortunately, that can lead to some leaving the business, and we support them through their transition.”
As of February 2022, the customer-relationship-management software company had over 78,000 employees globally. Citing a source, Barron’s reported that the recent job cuts represent less than 1% of the company’s workforce.
RingCentral Inc. RNG, -0.81% joined the list of tech companies making layoffs, announcing a plan to cut 10% of its workforce as part of a broader push to cut costs amid a deteriorating economic environment. The cloud-based communications company’s stock jumped on news of the layoffs and of RingCentral’s third-quarter earnings, which beat analysts’ expectations.
In October, RingCentral was added to the list of “zombie” stocks compiled by equity research firm New Constructs.
New Constructs, which uses machine learning and natural language processing to parse corporate filings and model economic earnings, described RingCentral as a “cash incinerator” at risk of declining to $0 per share.
Redfin RDFN, -4.80% announced another round of layoffs, with CEO Glenn Kelman saying that the company was laying off 13% of its staff, or 862 employees. The real-estate brokerage also announced the closure of RedfinNow, a service that bought homes for cash and resold them to buyers on the market.
“The housing market will get smaller in 2023,” Kelman wrote in an email to staff. “A layoff is awful but we can’t avoid it,” he added.
Beyond Meat Inc. BYND, +12.39% made fresh job cuts in October, slashing about 19% of its global workforce. The company also issued a revenue warning amid softness in the plant-based-meat category, along with increased competition and inflation pressures. Beyond Meat said it will book a roughly $4 million one-time cash charge in the third quarter to cover the job cuts.
The cuts followed a 4% workforce reduction in August.
The pressures on the plant-based food company continue. In November, Beyond Meat reported a big drop in third-quarter revenue, escalating losses and tepid revenue guidance.
Facebook parent Meta META, -0.17% is cutting 11,000 employees, or about 13% of its workforce, in the first layoffs in the company’s 18-year history. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has taken responsibility for the cuts, admitting to expanding the company too quickly amid a pandemic-fueled surge in revenue.
“Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected,” he wrote in a post on the company’s public newsroom. “I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”
Zuckerberg wrote that while Meta will be making reductions in every area across both its Family of Apps and Reality Labs segments, some teams will be affected more than others. The cuts to Reality Labs will be closely watched for any potential impact on the company’s metaverse strategy, which is handled within the segment.
Meta’s job cuts came hot on the heels of layoffs at Twitter that affected about half of that company’s 7,500 employees. In late October, Elon Musk bought Twitter for the inflated price of $44 billion and quickly launched an effort to slash costs at the unprofitable company.
Before the layoffs hit, Twitter faced a class-action lawsuit over lack of notice to employees.
The cuts, which came just before the midterm elections, also sparked concern about the microblogging site’s ability to fight misinformation in the postelection period.
On Dec. 6, San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu told MarketWatch that he will look into the loss of janitors’ jobs at Twitter.
In November, Lyft Inc. LYFT, -0.86% announced plans to lay off 13% of its workforce, or about 683 employees. The ride-hailing company’s executives described the move as a proactive step as they eye a possible recession and as they plan for the coming year.
The latest layoffs follow 60 job cuts in July; a hiring freeze through the end of the year was also implemented in September. In April 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, Lyft laid off nearly 1,000 employees and put another 288 on furlough.
Some companies confirmed their layoffs earlier this year. In August, Snap Inc. SNAP, -1.27% announced job cuts as part of a “broader strategic reprioritization” that would see the social-media company focus on cost cuts and aim for profit and positive free cash flow. The company said it would cut about 20% of its full-time employees.
“The scale of these changes vary from team to team, depending upon the level of prioritization and investment needed to execute against our strategic priorities,” said Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel in a statement. “The extent of this reduction should substantially reduce the risk of ever having to do this again, while balancing our desire to invest in our long-term future and reaccelerate our revenue growth.”
The Verge reported that Snap had more than 6,400 employees prior to the job cuts.
Also in August, Robinhood Markets Inc. HOOD, -1.38% announced plans to cut its workforce by 23%. The company, which was a launchpad for 2021’s meme-stock phenomenon, cited a weaker economic environment and depressed trading activity.
In July, Coinbase Global Inc. COIN, -2.71% announced plans to lay off 18% of its employees, just two weeks after extending a hiring freeze and rescinding some job offers. In a blog post, CEO Brian Armstrong said the decision was made “to ensure we stay healthy during this economic downturn.”
The crypto exchange had expanded rapidly, from 1,250 employees at the beginning of 2021 to 4,948 at the end of March 2022. “I am the CEO, and the buck stops with me,” said Armstrong, adding that the company grew too rapidly.
Also in July, Shopify Inc. SHOP, -1.23% announced plans to lay off 10% of its staff, with the e-commerce company citing an evolving business landscape. In a blog post, Chief Executive Tobi Lütke explained that, as a result of the pandemic, Shopify had bet that the share of dollars going through e-commerce rather than physical retail would permanently leap ahead by five or even 10 years. “It’s now clear that bet didn’t pay off,” he wrote. “What we see now is the mix reverting to roughly where pre-COVID data would have suggested it should be at this point.”
“As part of our ongoing and routine business prioritization, we have shifted some employees to positions that support critical initiatives and removed a small number of specific roles to balance resources against top priorities,” said Adobe, in a statement emailed to MarketWatch.
Adobe is not doing companywide layoffs and is still hiring for critical roles across the company, it said. “The investments we’re making today to drive innovation, expand our product portfolio and serve a growing number of customers will enable us to continue to drive strong growth,” Adobe added.
The company has more than 28,000 employees worldwide.
Videogame retailer and meme-stock darling GameStop Corp. GME, -4.83% has also been making cuts.
Speaking during a conference call to discuss the company’s third-quarter results, GameStop CEO Matt Furlong described reductions in headcount during the back half of 2022, but did not give specific numbers. “We now have a firm understanding of the resources required to pursue opportunities in gaming,” he said.