Tech Winter?

Artificial intelligence is an interesting department in tech and the term AI Winter refers to a period of reduced funding and interest in artificial intelligence research. This is not the current case with the big technology space today which makes me wonder the reason for the recent mass layoffs in major organizations.

According to Investopedia, in 2022 the following tech companies reduced their workforce:

Elon Musk said he will be reducing its staff by 50% or cutting a total of 3,700 jobs at Twitter, this was reportedly a week after the purchase was complete.

Mark Zuckerberg informed employees that Meta would be letting go of approximately 13% of its staff which amounts to more than 11,000 employees.

Snap reportedly let go of about 1,280 employees, reducing its workforce by 20%.

In January 2023, Google announced it will lay off 12,000 people from its workforce with those affected being are across the product areas, functions, levels, and regions. Amazon also started a fresh round of job cuts that was termed it’s “largest workforce cut in its 28-year history”, with more than 18,000 employees affected. Microsoft was not left out of this workforce shave as the technology giant said it will be letting go of 10,000 employees due to slower revenue growth.

The underlying reason for majority of the layoffs is usually decline in revenue growth and an overhead cost that’s outrageous to sustain, while that’s enough reason to cut down the workforce, it’s still shocking to see experienced managers and employees who have spent decades at these organizations, get cut off without any prior sign or warning.

Of course, few of these companies offer severance packages to their laid off staff and while it’s an awesome gesture, it doesn’t make up for the fact that one company is letting go of 10,000 people, in a single round of layoff.

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