Since the start of 2023, more than 150,000 people have been laid off at tech companies, large and small. That’s a staggering number of people who have been put out of work.
Salesforce announced in January that it was laying off 10% of its approximately 80,000 employee workforce. Since then, it has been letting people go in dribs and drabs. Amazon also announced in January that it was laying off 18,000 employees, then announced another 9,000 this week. Meta laid off 11,000 in November and let another 10,000 people go in a second round this week. In addition, the company shut down another 5,000 open recs.
This, some would say, cruel, rolling approach to layoffs leaves employees anxious and uncertain about their own positions, while grieving about the loss of valued colleagues who have been let go.
Investors, on the other hand, seem to like layoffs as a way to move companies toward greater operating efficiency. CEOs typically are less concerned about the well being of their employees as they are in keeping investors happy.