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Big Tech layoffs: Google, Meta lead Big Tech layoffs. All you need to know

Big Tech companies around the world face one of the toughest challenges in recent times as macroeconomic headwinds remain strong leading to tighter advertiser purses, rising inflation coupled with a global shortage of logistics supply and slower than expected economic growth.

Most of these companies have halted new hires or cut major jobs as they try hard to find a way to stay afloat and continue their path to profitability. Google and Meta have announced the most important layoffs of all Big Tech companies with 10,000 and 11,000 respectively.

However, Amazon has repeatedly denied the layoffs, even calling some of the terminations voluntary separation. Here’s a look at what happened at both internet giants.

Amazon
Last month, the world’s largest etailer Amazon began laying off employees in an effort to slash costs, boost operating margins and boost profits amid the tech winter and fears of a looming recession.

The company informed regional authorities in California that it would lay off about 260 employees at various facilities that employed data scientists, software engineers and corporate employees. The job cuts will take effect on January 17.

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According to a New York Times report, the number of employees that could be laid off was about 10,000, starting with business and technology positions.

Interestingly, according to a widely circulated media report from ComputerWorld, Amazon — which employs more than 1.6 million people worldwide — may lay off about 20,000 employees, including corporate executives.

However, the company has maintained its position that it has not laid off employees, but has restructured its organization in the face of adversity.

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has defended mass layoffs at the company, saying, “We just felt like we needed to streamline our costs.”

Speaking at the New York Times DealBook Summit, Jassy justified the company’s decision to lay off people en masse due to rising economic uncertainty.

According to a Fortune report, Jassy said Amazon’s retail business grew rapidly during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced us to make decisions at that time to spend a lot more money and move much faster on building of infrastructure than we ever thought we would”.

The company has also taken a similar stance in India. It wrote to the Ministry of Labor to downplay the layoffs in India, saying it was a 100% voluntary severance program with severance pay.

“VSP is a completely voluntary program where employees choose to receive fair severance pay. At no stage will Amazon India persuade or direct its employees to opt for the VSP,” the e-commerce major replied to the ministry. of Labor when asked about the reasons for the redundancies.

Also read | Amazon India is likely to cut jobs amid global layoffs

meta

In November, Facebook parent company Meta said it had laid off 11,000 employees, just over a tenth of its global workforce, making it the second major job cut announcement by a global social media company after Twitter laid off nearly half of its workforce.

In a statement shared with Meta employees, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would further cut discretionary spending in the future and extend the freeze on new hires until March 2023.

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Zuckerberg’s note said that as more people stayed online during the Covid-19 pandemic, Meta expanded its investments as it hoped the trend would continue beyond the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, this did not go as I expected. Not only has online commerce returned to previous trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition and the loss of advertising have caused our revenues to be much lower than I anticipated. I misunderstood this and I take responsibility for that,” he said.

However, the impact could not be significant for workers in India, sources told ET.

Meta employs approximately 400 people in India, ranging from engineering to products, sales and external communications.

Responding to ET’s questions on the matter, a spokesperson for Meta India said the company “would not provide details on specific team impact”.

Last December, Meta India opened its first standalone office in Asia in Gurugram. Spread over 130,000 square feet, the new facility houses all three platforms: Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

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