Why are big tech companies seeing layoffs and slower hiring
As Amazon began the largest layoffs in its history on Tuesday, there was outrage and confusion among employees who had been waiting for word from the company’s top executives. Comparisons were made between how Amazon handled the layoffs and Meta, which recently laid off 13% of its workforce.
Employees concerned about job loss questioned why Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy had not addressed the staff in the same way that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg had when announcing job cuts. There was no word from the executives. After 48 hours, a top executive wrote to his team to acknowledge the layoffs. Amazon devises Chief Dave Limp reportedly wrote a note to his team offering severance pay. According to Bloomberg, he stated in the note that the firings “pained” him.
Many people in the human rights division, including recruiters and software engineers, received a buyout offer or a voluntary release program. For every six months of service, Amazon provided three months of pay and one week of salary. Those who got it had two weeks to make a decision. However, employees complained about a lack of clarity regarding the severance package and whether it applied to forced exits. Employees were “living in fear,” unable to focus on their work, according to various reports. Many people looked for hints in email subject lines and human resources meeting invitations. Employees expressed displeasure with the “disgusting” lack of transparency. After hearing the bad news, they also consoled each other. Some managers told employees that they “thought” their division was safe. According to the publication, the company’s business leaders wanted to communicate the layoffs to those who would be affected first, before broadcasting a message to the entire company.
Some Amazon employees, particularly those in the loss-making Alexa voice assistant division, received a calendar invitation for a 15-minute videoconference in their inbox on Tuesday morning. “It’s all been done in the dark. Some of us received meeting requests from human resources and a manager on Tuesday, which was a dead giveaway “According to Bloomberg, one such meeting resulted in the firing of a worker. Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel issued a public statement only on Wednesday. “As part of our annual operating planning review process, we always look at each of our businesses and what we believe we should change,” the company said in a statement. “Given the current macroeconomic environment (as well as several years of rapid hiring), some teams are making adjustments, which in some cases means certain roles are no longer required. We take these decisions seriously and are working hard to support any employees who may be affected.