After years of growth, industry giants Apple, Google Amazon, Tesla and others are bracing for recession.
With recession fears rising, and inflation, the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic taking a toll, many tech companies are rethinking their staffing needs, with some instituting hiring freezes, rescinding deals and even starting jobs. layoffs.
Here’s a look at the dozens of companies that are pulling out.
Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, is slowing down its recruiting efforts. According to an internal memo, CEO Sundar Pichai told employees that while the company added 10,000 Googlers in the second quarter, it will slow the pace of hiring for the rest of the year and prioritize engineering and technical talent. “Like all businesses, we are not immune to economic headwinds,” he said. The search giant had nearly 164,000 employees at the end of March.
Amazon.com Inc. said in April that it was overstaffed after ramping up during the pandemic and needed to cut back. “As the variance slowed in the second half of the quarter and employees returned from vacation, we quickly went from being understaffed to overstaffed, resulting in lower productivity,” said CFO Brian Olsavsky. Amazon is subleasing storage space and has halted development of facilities intended for office workers, saying it needs more time to determine how much space employees will need for hybrid work. The company had 1.6 million workers in March, making it the largest employer in the tech world.
Apple Inc. plans to cut hiring and spending in some divisions next year to weather a possible economic downturn, according to people familiar with the matter. But it’s not company-wide policy, and the iPhone maker continues to push ahead with an aggressive product launch schedule. Apple had 154,000 employees in September, when its last fiscal year ended.
Carvana Co., an online used-car retailer, laid off 2,500 people in May, about 12% of its workforce. In an unusual move, the executive team will forgo salaries for the rest of the year to pay severance to those who were laid off, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company had more than 21,000 full-time and part-time employees at the end of last year.
Coinbase Global Inc., a cryptocurrency exchange, told employees it would cut 18% of staff in June to prepare for an economic downturn. He also rescinded job offers. “It looks like we are entering a recession after an economic boom of more than 10 years,” CEO Brian Armstrong said in a blog post. “While it’s difficult to predict the economy or the markets, we always plan for the worst so we can operate the business in any environment,” he said. The company closed the quarter with about 5,000 employees.
Compass Inc., a real estate brokerage platform, is cutting 450 positions, about 10% of its staff, according to a filing last month. The company had almost 5,000 employees at the end of 2021.
Gemini Trust Co., a cryptocurrency exchange founded by Bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, announced a 10% downsizing in June.
GoPuff, a grocery delivery app, is laying off 10% of its workforce and closing dozens of warehouses. The cuts will affect about 1,500 staff members, a mix of corporate and warehouse employees.
Lyft Inc., the ride-sharing platform, told employees it was clamping down on hiring in May after its shares fell precipitously. The company had about 4,500 employees as of 2021. Lyft’s archrival, Uber Technologies Inc., has been more optimistic. Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg in June that his company was “recession resistant” and had no plans for layoffs.
Meta Platforms Inc., the parent of Facebook, cut plans to hire engineers by at least 30%. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees that he is anticipating one of the worst recessions in recent history. The company had more than 77,800 employees at the end of March.
Microsoft Corp. told workers in May that it was cutting hiring in the Windows, Office and Teams groups as it braces for economic volatility. The company had 181,000 employees in 2021. More recently, the software maker cut some jobs (less than 1% of the total) as part of a reorganization.
Netflix Inc., the streaming giant, has had several rounds of highly publicized layoffs since it reported losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter. In April, it began winding down some marketing initiatives, then cut 150 employees in May and 300 in June. Last quarter, it reported $70 million in severance costs and shed an additional 970,000 subscribers. Netflix had 11,300 employees in 2021.
Niantic Inc., maker of the Pokemon Go video game, laid off 8% of its team in June. It was an effort to streamline operations and position the company to weather economic storms, CEO John Hanke told staff in an email. Niantic had about 800 employees at the end of last year.
Peloton Interactive Inc. announced plans to cut about 2,800 jobs worldwide, about 20% of its corporate functions, as part of a surprise reorganization in February in which its CEO, John Foley, and several members of the executive team resigned. In 2021, the company reported having close to 9,000 employees.
Redfin Corp., another real estate broker, cut 8% of its staff in June. “We don’t have enough work for our agents and support staff,” CEO Glenn Kelman wrote in a blog post, saying May demand was 17% below projections and that he expected the company to grow more slowly during a housing recession. The company had about 6,500 employees at the end of last year.
Robinhood Markets Inc., the online brokerage, laid off 9% of its workforce in April. It had about 3,800 employees at the end of last year and has racked up more than $2 billion in losses since going public last July.
Rivian Automotive Inc. plans to eliminate hundreds of non-manufacturing jobs and teams with duplicate functions. The Southern California electric vehicle maker, which has more than 14,000 employees, could make an across-the-board reduction of about 5%. In a memo to employees, CEO RJ Scaringe said: “We will always be focused on growth; however, Rivian is not immune to the current economic circumstances and we must ensure that we can grow sustainably.”
Salesforce Inc., the cloud computing platform, has been slowing down hiring and cutting travel costs, according to a leaked memo reported in May by Insider.
Spotify Technology SA, the audio service, is cutting employee growth by about 25% to adjust for macroeconomic factors, CEO Daniel Ek said in a note to staff in June. The company has more than 6,500 employees, according to its website.
Stitch Fix, an online custom styling service, said in June that it was seeking a 15% reduction in salaried positions, about 4% of its workforce, with the majority coming from non-tech corporate positions and styling leadership roles. . It is dealing with higher spending and weaker demand. According to its website, the company has 8,900 employees.
Tesla Inc., the electric vehicle maker, laid off 200 Autopilot workers when it closed a facility in San Mateo, California, in June. CEO Elon Musk has previously said the layoffs would be necessary in an increasingly unstable economic environment. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said about 10% of salaried employees would lose their jobs in the next three months, although the total headcount could be higher in a year. The company had 100,000 employees worldwide at the end of last year.
Twitter Inc. began a hiring freeze and began rescinding job postings in May, amid uncertainty surrounding Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg. The company had 7,500 employees in 2021.
Unity Software Inc., which makes a video game engine, surprised employees in June when it sent pink slips to 200 of its 5,900 workers, representing 4% of its workforce. Its CEO had assured staff that there would be no layoffs, according to Kotaku.
Wayfair Inc., the online furniture retailer, began a 90-day hiring freeze in May. The company had 18,000 employees in March.