Microsoft layoffs show that no tech company is safe to work at right now
One more day til the weekend, reader. For some tech workers, today is another day of waiting around for more layoffs to come.
On Wednesday, Amazon started its largest round of layoffs in company history after giving employees the heads up that they were coming two weeks earlier. Meanwhile, Microsoft finally confirmed 10,000 layoffs after reports days earlier that they were going to happen.
I'm Diamond Naga Siu, and today, we dive into why all Big Tech employees are at risk of losing their jobs.
Google is an anomaly, and so far hasn't done a wide-sweeping layoff (though its fellow Alphabet subsidiary Verily cut about 15% of its staff). But its employees remain in a job security purgatory.
For the past year, the company has been prepping for possible layoffs. CEO Sundar Pichai refused to rule them out. Divisions were reshuffled for efficiency. And a tougher performance review stoked fear in employees that it was all a quiet way to reduce headcount.
This is fine. So let's dive into more fine tech news.
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1. No tech giant is safe. Microsoft's layoffs proves that there is no such thing as a safe tech company to work at right now. Although these cuts were anticipated by many, they further emphasize how every company is impacted by inflation, rising interest rates, and lower overall customer spending.
- The list of tech layoffs is long: Facebook, Amazon, Meta, Twitter, Salesforce, Microsoft, and more. Experts anticipate that this bleak situation will get worse before it gets better.
- My colleague Ashley Stewart learned that following the official layoff announcement, Microsoft managers were asked to identify low performers to drop. If HR agrees the employee needs to step up, they could get dropped immediately. This expedites a process that previously gave employees up to six months to turn things around, paired with performance coaching.
- These cost-cutting measures are incredibly dire for employees. But they help companies come out on top, my teammate Paayal Zaveri reports.
Here's what Microsoft's layoffs mean for everyone else.
In other news:
2. Chips are stuck between the US and China. Chips run everything: phones, refrigerators, missiles, computers, and more. But their future — and thus, also the future of tech — is at stake. Dive into how this tiny piece of hardware puts the entire future of tech in limbo.
3. Twitter is bracing for more layoffs. Insider's Kali Hays reports that another 50 jobs are on the chopping block. This adds to rolling layoffs that have impacted advertising, monetization, and other departments. Read more about how the brutal cuts have nearly slashed 75% of Twitter's workforce.
4. Help wanted: A flight attendant for Netflix. The streaming service is hiring for a California-based flight attendant. The total comp could go up to a whopping $385,000, per the listing. Check out this dream job.
The layoff files:
5. Amazon's "Slack is exploding." Leaked screenshots showed that employees are crowdsourcing details about the job cuts with each other: team name, tenure, job level, and more. This is the running tally of Amazon teams impacted by the layoffs.
6. Microsoft officially announces layoffs. CEO Satya Nadella officially notified employees that 10,000 people would be laid off over the coming months. He called the decisions "difficult, but necessary." Read the full email here.
7. The Amazon emails ahead of its largest layoff ever. My colleague Eugene Kim obtained copies of emails leaders have sent to employees ahead of laying off around 18,000 people. One message ended by urging employees to "[unlock] even more value for customers." These are their emails in full.
8. Amazon HR asks for "support and care." Beth Galetti has been busy. The SVP of People Experience and Technology sent two missives on the first official days of Amazon layoffs. Her second one had the subject line: "Supporting our colleagues through role reductions." Read her message of support here.
Odds and ends:
9. Stealthy Russian subs are worrying the US and its NATO allies. Multiple "very, very advanced" submarines with "multi-mission capabilities" (aka nuclear power) are operating near US coasts, top US commanders say. More on these hard-to-detect vessels here.
10. Amazon Basics tech products that are worth your money. Amazon Basics makes affordable, high quality tech accessories. We rounded up the 11 of the best, including a tripod, surge protector power strip, and AA batteries. Check out the others here.
What we're watching today:
- The World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland continues for the fourth day.
Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email email@example.com or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.
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