These companies have conducted mass layoffs recently


Major corporations in the media, retail and technology sectors have conducted mass layoffs to trim costs as they invest in AI, and after bulking up workforces during the pandemic. High interest rates are also contributing to layoffs at tech companies, in particular.

A number of companies across sectors kicked off 2024 by announcing they are slashing jobs on the heels of worker layoffs at the end of 2023. Experts say investments in AI could be a contributor, but aren’t exclusively to blame. Here’s a list of companies that are reducing head counts.

Technology

Google

In mid-January, Alphabet-owned Google laid off hundreds of workers on its hardware, voice assistance and engineering teams to cut costs, citing a focus on “responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead,” the company said in a statement at the time.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has warned employees to brace for even more layoffs amid the company’s push to move ahead in the artificial intelligence arms race. The cuts are designed to free up funds for “investing in… [the company’s] big priorities” according to a memo sent to employees.

One year earlier, Google announced it would cut 12,000 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, to trim costs after going on a hiring spree during the pandemic.  

“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post at the time. “To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.” 

Microsoft

In an internal memo last week, Microsoft announced 1,900 job cuts in its gaming division, the Associated Press reported. The cuts represent about 8% of its total gaming workforce. 

Riot Games

Popular video game “League of Legends” developer Riot Games cut 530 jobs, or 11% of its staff in January to allow the company to move “toward a sustainable future,” according to a memo sent to staff. 

“This decision is critical for the future of Riot. This isn’t to appease shareholders or to hit a quarterly earnings number — it’s a necessity,” the company said in a statement on January 22 . 

TikTok

Social media app TikTok, owned by tech giant ByteDance, laid off 60 advertising and sales workers this month, as part of a routine reorganization, according to the company. 

Amazon-owned companies

The Amazon-owned audiobook and podcast service Audible slashed 100 employees, or 5% of its workforce, amid cuts in other Amazon divisions, including Prime Video. The e-commerce giant’s streaming and studios unit also cut hundreds of jobs amid a shifting video consumption landscape and after Amazon acquired MGM studios.

Salesforce

Salesforce in January shed 7,350 workers, or 10% of its workforce, amid industrywide cost-cutting measures. The San Francisco-based cloud computing company also said it would close some of its offices to save on real estate costs.

“The environment remains challenging and our customers are taking a more measured approach to their purchasing decisions,” said CEO Marc Benioff in a letter to employees. “With this in mind, we’ve made the very difficult decision to reduce our workforce by about 10%, mostly over the coming weeks.”

Retail 

eBay

The online e-commerce firm announced it will cut 1,000 jobs, or roughly 9% of its full-time workforce, in an effort to better match the company’s pace of growth in a slowing economy. 

REI

The outdoor apparel and equipment retailer is laying off 357 workers, with most of the job cuts affecting workers at its headquarters and at its distribution center, on the heels of four quarters of declines.

Levi’s

Denim clothing maker Levi Strauss & Co. last week said it’s planning to cut 10% to 15% of its 19,100-person workforce in the first quarter of the year to cut costs and streamline operations. This and other cost-cutting measures are expected to generate net cost savings of $100 million in the current fiscal year, the company said.

Macy’s

Chronically underperforming department store Macy’s has struggled to keep up with consumers’ shifting preference for shopping online, leading to financial struggles that made worker layoffs necessary. 

Last week, the iconic retailer signaled it would lay off 3.5%, or roughly 2,350 of its employees, and close five of its stores to slash costs as part of “a new strategy to meet the needs of an ever changing consumer and marketplace,” the company told the AP last week. 

Wayfair

In the first month of the year, online furniture retailer Wayfair announced a 13% workforce reduction after hiring too ambitiously. In a letter to employees, CEO Niraj Shah said the company would eliminate 1,650 jobs in order to remain profitable after going “overboard with corporate hiring during COVID.”

 — The Associated Press contributed to this report



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