Working for tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft is like a dream for millions of professionals worldwide due to their market reputation, salary package, job security, innovative projects, and strong culture of collaboration and professional development. However, the way they are cutting jobs in big bundles is a new reality, a new change people have to accept. Major tech firms laid off more than 70,000 employees last year. The reasons companies are shouting behind the layoffs are financial difficulties and concerns about the economic slowdown.
Who is replacing them?
Organizations aggressively deploy new technologies like Artificial intelligence (AI), Intelligent automation (IA), and Business process management (BPM), which reduce human dependency and can perform many jobs efficiently with less workforce. From warehouse to business operation to the front office, technology has fixed its place.
Research by McKinsey in 2017 showed that 400 to 800 million people worldwide will lose their job by 2030 due to automation.
Know that the research mentioned above was published long before the pandemic outbreak. However, the pandemic outbreak pushed companies to adopt modern technology like- AI, ML, automation, cloud, and RPM not just to survive but become more agile and robust.
Microsoft announced a layoff of 10,000 employees through FY23.
Jan 18, 2023, Satya Nadela, CEO of Microsoft, said in an email to the employee,
“As we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimize their digital spend to do more with less.”
“We’re also seeing organizations in every industry and geography exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one.”
He further highlighted that the next computing era would be with advances in AI. The most critical component of IA is AI.
“At the same time, the next major wave of computing is being born with advances in AI, as we’re turning the world’s most advanced models into a new computing platform.”
Amazon, the world’s largest online retail platform, has decided to lay off more than 18000 employees.
Amazon’s worldwide retail chief, Doug Herrington, informed employees via email, said, “As we head into 2023, we remain in uncertain economic times. Therefore, we’ve determined that we need to take further steps to improve our cost structure so we can keep investing in the customer experience that attracts customers to Amazon and grows our business.”
During the pandemic, when the lockdown and other precautions slowed the supply chain, people turned to online shopping, that time, Amazon increased the operating budget to serve customers. Now they have reduced the budget and fired employees.
On November 9, 2022, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, announced a massive layoff of 11000 employees. The company fired 13% of its total workforce to reduce operating costs.
Google’s parent company Alphabet said that it would lay off 12000 employees.
In an email to employees, the CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet Sundar Pichai said, “the firm will begin making layoffs of approx 12000 employees. US layoff will start immediately, in other countries, the process “will take longer due to local laws and procedures.”
“Over the past two years, we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”
Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) criticized the layoff decision and said this is unacceptable, last quarter, the company made $17 billion in profit.
The software company, Salesforce, announced the layoff of approx 8000 employees, 10% of its workforce, due to rising inflation.
Marc Benioff, Salesforce co-chief executive, said in a note to employees informing the layoff. “The current atmosphere stays challenging, our buyers are taking a more measured approach to their purchasing decisions,”
Organizations can work with less humans and more technology by automating repetitive tasks and processes, using AI and ML to analyze data and make decisions, and implementing digital platforms and tools to communicate and collaborate remotely.
Seeing the recent layoffs, it is important to consider the impact of technological advancements on the workforce and implement strategies to ensure employee job security and career development.