More tech jobs to be shed in 2023

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 19 Jan 2023

The massive job cuts announced in the tech sector in 2022 are spilling into the new year, with Amazon and Microsoft announcing staff reductions within two weeks of each other.

On Wednesday, software giant Microsoft said it will lay off 10 000 employees.

Meanwhile, tech multinational Amazon announced earlier this month that it is planning to retrench over 18 000 employees, saying the majority of those to be laid off work in Amazon stores and people experience and technology (PXT) solutions divisions.

This comes as the US tech sector is said to have shed more than 154 000 jobs in 2022, based on research published by TradingPedia.

Jobs bloodbath

Following the hiring spree seen during the pandemic, the world’s most successful tech companies moved to retrench or freeze their recruitment in 2022.

Some of these included Meta (formerly Facebook), Twitter, Salesforce, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft and Alphabet (Google).

Thereduction of Microsoft’s overall workforce by 10 000 jobs represents less than 5% of the company’s total employee base, said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO.

“We’re living through times of significant change, and as I meet with customers and partners, a few things are clear,” says Nadella in the memo.

“First, as we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimise their digital spend to do more with less. We’re also seeing organisations in every industry and geography exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one.”

One of the Microsoft employees affected by the layoff is Prashant Kamani, principal software development manager at Microsoft.

Kamani took to his LinkedIn page saying that he has been informed that his position at Microsoft has been eliminated.

“After working for over 21 years at Microsoft, multiple roles, multiple organisations, as an IC and as a manager, client, hybrid and services software, V1 products and V10+, UX, backend and everything in between, I can truly say it’s been very fulfilling and rewarding. I’ve learnt immensely and grown as a result.”

After announcing the planned job cuts on 5 January, e-commerce giant Amazon on Wednesday began making staff reductions in the US, Canada and Costa Rica, according to Reuters.

The news site reports that the company is terminating 2 300 employees in Seattle and Bellevue in the US.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy pointed to current “economic uncertainty” among the reason to cut the company’s workforce further, after retrenchments in November.

“Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we’re sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18 000 roles. Several teams are impacted; however, the majority of role eliminations are in our Amazon stores and PXT organisations”.

Tech firms hit hard

According to TradingPedia, tech companies are in the top 10 companies that had massive job cuts in 2022.

For its list, TradingPedia says its team used data from the Web site, which tracks tech layoffs since the beginning of the pandemic.

The noted tech companies are Meta, Amazon, Cisco, Twitter, Byju’s and Microsoft.

TradingPedia indicates that among the notable reasons behind the layoffs in 2022 were the stock markets that were hit hard over the past year, following persistent inflation, increased interest rates, and concerns that the world is headed to another recession.

In the case of Meta, it announced last November that it was laying off 11 000 employees, about 13% of its workforce, as the company faces declining revenues.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the time: “I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history.

“I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11 000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1.”

Job cuts at Meta came as fellow social media company Twitter let go of almost half of its employees after billionaire Elon Musk took over the firm in a $44 billion deal.

Data from TradingPedia shows that job cuts at Cisco affected 4 000 employees.

“In November, networking company Cisco announced a restructuring plan, which would include cutting some 4 000 jobs. This accounts for approximately 5% of its global workforce and the move was described as “rebalancing” during the company’s earnings call on November 16.”

Byju’s, the Indian tech company known for its educational app, announced that it would be laying off 2 500 employees across various departments in November, states TradingPedia.

“The company said that this process would take place over the course of several months and that it would rehire employees who are not able to find a new job within a year.

“In June, Byju’s laid off at least 600 employees from two of its subsidiaries – 300 from its Toppr learning platform and another 300 from its coding platform WhiteHat Jr.”