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posted by hubie on Wednesday November 16, @05:34PM   Printer-friendly
from the happy-holidays! dept.

It's a bad month for layoffs in tech

The big tech layoffs are continuing apace, and it seems nobody is safe. Following this month's massive staff cuts at Twitter and Meta, the New York Times reports that Amazon is now planning to let go of approximately 10,000 employees. Happy holidays, I guess.

Amazon's upcoming job cuts will reportedly impact its corporate employees, specifically its retail division, human resources, and the team working on the company's devices (which includes voice assistant Alexa).

Considering that Amazon employs over 1.5 million people across the globe, 10,000 workers laid off may not seem like a significant percentage from the company's perspective. It amounts to about 0.7 percent of Amazon's employees, which is a considerably smaller relative reduction than Twitter's Elon Musk-induced layoffs that cut its workforce by around 50 percent.

A reduction in force, or perhaps they're making room for picking up some of the high performing Twitter talent who were let go? [hubie]


Original Submission

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Google Employees Brace for a Cost-Cutting Drive as Anxiety Mounts 3 comments

Google workers in Switzerland sent a letter this month to the company's vice president of human resources, outlining their worries that a new employee evaluation system could be used to cull the work force:

"The number and spread of reports that reached us indicates that at least some managers were aggressively pressured to apply a quota" on a process that could lead to employees getting negative ratings and potentially losing their jobs, five workers and employee representatives wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times.

The letter signaled how some Google employees are increasingly interpreting recent management decisions as warnings that the company may be angling to conduct broader layoffs. From the impending closure of a small office and the cancellation of a content-moderation project to various efforts to ease budgets during 2023 planning meetings, the Silicon Valley behemoth has become a tinderbox of anxiety, according to interviews with 14 current and former employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

[...] The worries have grown as Google's tech industry peers have handed out pink slips amid a souring global economy. Last month, Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, purged its ranks by 11,000, or about 13 percent of its work force. Amazon also began laying off about 10,000 people in corporate and technology jobs, or about 3 percent of its corporate employees.

Even Google, which is on track to make tens of billions of dollars in profits this year, has had to come to terms with a slowdown. In October, as the digital advertising market slumped, Google's parent company, Alphabet, reported that profit dropped 27 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, to $13.9 billion.

Related: Amazon Will Reportedly Lay Off 10,000 Employees


Original Submission

Amazon to Slash More Than 18,000 Jobs in Escalation of Cuts 26 comments

Amazon.com Inc. is laying off more than 18,000 employees — the biggest reduction in its history — in the latest sign that a tech-industry slump is deepening:

Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy announced the cuts, which represent about 1% of Amazon's employees, in a memo to staff Wednesday, saying it followed the company's annual planning process.

The eliminations began last year and were previously expected to affect about 10,000 people. The move is concentrated in the firm's corporate ranks, mostly Amazon's retail division and human resources functions, like recruiting.

[...] The first wave of cuts landed heaviest on Amazon's Devices and Services group, which builds the Alexa digital assistant and Echo smart speaker, among other products. The group's chief told Bloomberg last month that layoffs in the unit totaled less than 2,000 people, and that Amazon remained committed to the voice assistant.

Previously:


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday November 16, @06:17PM (4 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday November 16, @06:17PM (#1280065)

    Bezos wants to do philantropy and give away all his billions [cnbc.com], and all he has to do is keep more employees on the payroll, pay everybody a little more, pressure them to work a little less and make the workplace a little more human and less hostile.

    But I guess being a decent employer is less flashy than funding a cure for cancer, distributing food in Africa or whatever charity shit he choses to look good getting involved in.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, @07:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, @07:02PM (#1280070)

      Narcissistic supply.

      He wants the admiration, or fear, of others. Either one reinforces his fictional idea of himself that he can't live up to. He's still seeking approval like the little boy scared of an aloof, disinterested parent that never loved him. Poor Bezos.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Wednesday November 16, @07:03PM (2 children)

      by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 16, @07:03PM (#1280071)

      Bezos isn't running the company anymore: The current CEO is Andy Jassey.

      Also, his ex-wife is giving away a lot more than he is.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday November 16, @09:06PM (1 child)

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday November 16, @09:06PM (#1280090)

        Because you think he has no say on how Amazon should be run?

        If Bezos wants Amazon to be a decent employer, he only has to say it and it'll happen. He sure ain't saying it though.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday November 16, @10:20PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday November 16, @10:20PM (#1280104)

          Laying off 0.7% of the workforce isn't something you bother the big man about. The New York Times is trying to bother him about it, but I still doubt that it's something he's aware of at any level of detail.

          If you ran a company of 200 people, this would be like somebody in the mail room getting fired and that chick in marketing going part time after her newborn came.

          --
          Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by r1348 on Wednesday November 16, @07:52PM

    by r1348 (5988) on Wednesday November 16, @07:52PM (#1280078)

    AWS employee here since 2018, so far no internal communications about this, only speculation based on that one NYT article.
    0,7% layoffs is not much, especially lately, but it sucks if it's you.

  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday November 16, @08:47PM (8 children)

    by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 16, @08:47PM (#1280086)

    Musk has demanded that all staff work "... long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade." Anyone who doesn't comply will be handed a severance package on Friday.

    I'm trying to figure out why he thinks any of the staff there would be willing to go along with this - it's not like he's offering to make them rich if they go along with it. Good luck running Twitter all on your lonesome, buddy, great use of $44 billion.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, @09:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, @09:17PM (#1280095)

      And Twitter doesn't have the cachet that SpaceX has where you can be motivated simply by being a real-life rocket scientist and looking at all of those grand visions Musk has talked about. If I was an exceptionally good at my job person at Twitter, I'd have my resume out all over the place by now.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday November 16, @10:17PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday November 16, @10:17PM (#1280101)

      I have worked a couple of places that de-facto select for employees who are willing to take abuse, whether financial, emotional, whatever... they just periodically pour on the abuse thickly and those who can't/won't take it leave, and guess what? At the end of that you can find a core team who is willing to work for little or no money, put up with periodic explosions of verbal abuse from the owner, etc. Every one was a strangely mis-functional place, could have been so much more productive with a smaller staff of more normal employees, but... they've got what they selected for.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, @12:43AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, @12:43AM (#1280132)

        It's like a cult of misery replete with leaders telling you you're worthless and noone else would take you. You're LUCKY to be here, it's a PRIVILEGE.

    • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Wednesday November 16, @10:56PM

      by Mykl (1112) on Wednesday November 16, @10:56PM (#1280116)

      I think Musk made a bet with someone that he could lose money.

    • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Wednesday November 16, @11:45PM

      by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday November 16, @11:45PM (#1280124)

      Normally these 80s' style takeovers are all about the divestitures. Like, now that the government is stepping in and preventing big tech mergers, maybe he's trying to break apart Twitter before selling off the parts to various other SNSs? And maybe the employees have stock options that would get in the way of doing this? Honestly, no idea.

      --
      compiling...
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday November 17, @05:21PM (2 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday November 17, @05:21PM (#1280222) Journal

      Beating up on the current Twitter staff with such mandates sounds like a purge of those who are/were there for ideological reasons. If he can get the chaff to separate itself from the wheat then he will be saving himself a lot of trouble once he pivots the company to working on his vision.

      And once they're gone, there's no shortage of talented techs out there who will work for a company with deep pockets and a clear plan.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, @09:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, @09:28PM (#1280252)

        He fired people who were working on his vision. Now they're trying to entice them to come back. If I got fired and then asked to come back within a week because I was working on that stuff that is now deemed to be a really important part of the new vision, unless this vision includes paying me a lot more than I was getting paid before, he and his vision can pound sand. Until he steps back and puts a grownup in place to run the company for him, why would you want to work for someone who has repeatedly shown himself to be an impulsive idiot?

        And what are these "deep pockets" which you talk about? The whole reason this $8 "verified" checkmark has turned into a shitshow is that it was pushed out in such a rush in order to quickly bring in cash, because they don't have any.

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday November 17, @11:51PM

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 17, @11:51PM (#1280270)

        Beating up on the current Twitter staff with such mandates sounds like a purge of those who are/were there for ideological reasons.

        No, it's a purge of people who wanted to get up, go to work, arrive between 8 and 9 AM, work through until about 5 PM, and go home again. Which are going to be people who are less likely to be there due to an ideological axe to grind, and more likely to be there for a paycheck.

        Also, working long hours has been shown in many many studies to be actually detrimental to work performance after about 2 weeks of doing it.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Snotnose on Wednesday November 16, @09:04PM (1 child)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday November 16, @09:04PM (#1280089)

    Retired a few years ago, inflation is killing me.

    I used to wonder why my grandmother didn't want to spend $3.99 for breakfast. Now that it's $13.99 I get it.

    --
    Why is tamales pronounced tamales but females is pronounced females instead of females?
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, @01:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, @01:45AM (#1280143)

      > Retired a few years ago, inflation is killing me.

      Not to be a hard ass, but unless you retired quite young, you must have lived through the last period of high inflation in USA--late 1970s and early 80s. Didn't you remember that when planning your retirement?

      I'm a little past 65 now, but remembering those years of inflation I haven't retired yet, happy to still have income.

      https://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/09/1970s-great-inflation.asp [investopedia.com]

  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday November 16, @10:12PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday November 16, @10:12PM (#1280099)

    >Amazon is now planning to let go of approximately 10,000 employees. Happy holidays, I guess.

    I worked for a young, rather over-confident, CEO who laid off the entire staff just before the (was going to be paid, but guess what?) Christmas-New Year holiday week. I had stuck with them through a previous hard times or two, but that one took the cake, I found something else long before paid callbacks happened.

    They limped the company out of that hole, but a couple of years later were sued out of existence by some bad blood with competition across town.

    --
    Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
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