Microsoft, Amazon and other tech companies laid off more than 60,000 employees in the last year

Microsoft, Amazon and other tech companies laid off more than 60,000 employees in the last year

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the company’s Ignite Spotlight event on November 15, 2022 in Seoul.

SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tech job cuts are mounting as companies that have led the 10-year bull market adjust to a new reality.

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it would lay off 10,000 employees, reducing the company’s headcount by less than 5%. Amazon also launched a new round of job cuts, which is expected to cut more than 18,000 employees and mark the largest job cuts in the online retailer’s 28-year history.

The layoffs come at a time of slowing growth, higher interest rates to fight inflation and fears of a possible recession next year.

Here are some of the biggest cuts in the tech industry to date. All figures are approximate based on submissions, public statements and media reports:

Microsoft cuts 10,000 jobs

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 employees through March 31 as the software maker braces for slower revenue growth. The company is also assuming a $1.2 billion fee.

“I am confident that Microsoft will emerge from this stronger and more competitive,” CEO Satya Nadella announced in a memo to employees posted on the company’s website on Wednesday. Some employees will find out this week if they will lose their jobs, he wrote.

Amazon: 18,000 jobs cut

Earlier this month, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company plans to lay off more than 18,000 employees, mostly in human resources and operations. It came after Amazon announced in November it would be downsizing, including at its devices and recruiting organizations. CNBC reported at the time that the company was planning to lay off about 10,000 employees.

Amazon went on a hiring spree during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company’s global workforce grew to more than 1.6 million by the end of 2021, up from 798,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Alphabet (Truly): 230 digits deleted

Google parent Alphabet had largely avoided layoffs until January, when it cut 15% of the workforce at Verily, its health sciences division. Google itself hasn’t made any significant layoffs as of Jan. 18, but employees are growing concerned the ax may be dropping soon. 500 job cuts announced plans on Jan. 13 to lay off 20% of its workforce. The company had 2,450 employees, according to PitchBook data, suggesting about 490 employees were laid off.

CEO Kris Marszalek said in a blog post that the crypto exchange had grown “ambitiously” but couldn’t survive the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire FTX without the further cuts.

“All affected employees have already been notified,” Marszalek said in a post.

Coinbase: 2,000 jobs cut

On Jan. 10, Coinbase announced plans to shed about a fifth of its workforce to preserve cash during the crypto market downturn.

According to a blog post, the exchange plans to cut 950 jobs. Coinbase, which employed about 4,700 people at the end of September, had already cut 18% of its workforce in June and said it was having to manage costs after growing “too fast” during the bull market.

“In retrospect, we should have done more,” CEO Brian Armstrong told CNBC in a phone interview at the time. “The best thing you can do is act quickly as soon as information becomes available, and that’s exactly what we’re doing in this case.”

Salesforce: 7,000 jobs eliminated

Salesforce is cutting 10% of its staff and some office space as part of a restructuring plan, the company announced Jan. 4. It employed more than 79,000 people in December.

In a letter to employees, co-CEO Marc Benioff said that given the challenging macro environment, customers are “more measured” in their purchasing decisions, prompting Salesforce to make the “very difficult decision” to lay off employees.

Salesforce said it will see costs of $1 billion to $1.4 billion related to downsizing and $450 million to $650 million related to office space reductions.

Meta: 11,000 posts removed

Facebook parent company Meta announced its most significant round of layoffs to date in November. The company said it plans to cut 13% of its workforce, equivalent to more than 11,000 employees.

Meta’s disappointing guidance for the fourth quarter of 2022 wiped out a quarter of the company’s market cap and pushed the stock to its lowest level since 2016.

The tech giant’s cuts come after it increased headcount by about 60% during the pandemic. The business has been hurt by competition from rivals like TikTok, a broad slowdown in online ad spending, and challenges from Apple’s iOS changes.

Twitter: 3,700 jobs cut

Lyft: 700 jobs cut

Lyft announced in November that it would cut 13% of its workforce, or about 700 jobs. In a letter to employees, CEO Logan Green and President John Zimmer pointed to “a likely recession sometime next year” and rising rideshare insurance costs.

For laid-off workers, the ride-hailing company promised 10 weeks’ salary, health insurance through the end of April, an accelerated transfer of stock through the Nov. 20 exercise date, and assistance with recruiting. Workers who have been with the company for more than four years would be paid an extra four weeks, they added.

Stripe: 1,100 jobs cut

Online payments giant Stripe announced plans to lay off around 14% of its workforce, or about 1,100 employees, in November.

CEO Patrick Collison wrote in a memo to employees that the cuts were necessary in the face of rising inflation, fears of a looming recession, higher interest rates, energy shocks, tighter capital spending budgets and sparse seed funding. Taken together, these factors signal “that 2022 marks the beginning of a different economic climate,” he said.

Stripe was valued at $95 billion last year and reportedly lowered its internal valuation to $74 billion in July.

Shopify cuts 1,000 jobs

In July, Shopify announced that it had laid off 1,000 employees, which is 10% of its global workforce.

In a memo to employees, CEO Tobi Lutke admitted he misjudged how long the pandemic-driven e-commerce boom would last and said the company was being hit by a broader decline in online spending. The stock price has fallen 78% in 2022.

Netflix cut 450 jobs

Netflix announced two rounds of layoffs. In May, the streaming service cut 150 jobs after the company reported its first loss of subscribers in a decade. At the end of June, she announced another 300 layoffs.

In a statement to employees, Netflix said, “While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we have made these adjustments to allow our costs to grow in line with our slower revenue growth.”

Snap: 1,000 jobs eliminated

In late August, Snap announced that it had laid off 20% of its workforce, which translates to over 1,000 employees.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told employees in a memo that the company needed to restructure its business to address its financial challenges. He said the company’s quarterly revenue growth rate of 8% year over year is “well below our expectations earlier this year.”

Robinhood: 1,100 jobs eliminated

Retail brokerage firm Robinhood shed 23% of its workforce in August after shedding 9% of its workforce in April. Based on public records and reports, that’s more than 1,100 employees.

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev blamed “a deteriorating macro environment with inflation at 40-year highs accompanied by a broad crypto market crash.”

Tesla cuts 6,000 jobs

In June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote in an email to all employees that the company would lay off 10% of its employees. The Wall Street Journal estimated that the cuts would affect about 6,000 employees based on public records.

“Tesla will reduce headcount by 10% as we are overstaffed in many areas,” Musk wrote. “Note that this does not apply to someone who actually builds cars, builds battery packs or installs solar panels. The number of hourly workers will increase.”