What just happened? Microsoft has become the latest tech giant to lay off employees, again, as the economic downturn impacts even the most established industry titans. The company cut jobs across multiple divisions and locations yesterday in a move Microsoft has defined as "structural adjustments."
Axios writes that while Microsoft didn't confirm how many people it let go this week, fewer than 1,000 employees were laid off. A spokesperson told the publication, "Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly. We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead."
Insider notes that social media posts on sites such as Twitter and Blind suggest the cuts covered the Xbox gaming division, Microsoft Strategic Missions and Technology, Experiences and Devices, legal, and others. KC Lemson, a Microsoft veteran and a product manager in the office of the Chief Technology Officer, tweeted that she lost her job on Monday.
Welp, who's got two thumbs and just got laid off from Microsoft this morning?— KC Lemson (@kclemson) October 18, 2022
2022 has been quite a year. pic.twitter.com/JfsbwKvKfV
Interestingly, Microsoft confirmed in September that it would add another 1,000 workers to its Chinese operations and upgrade its campuses in the country over the next few years.
The looming threat of a US recession, which Bloomberg now believes is 100% certain to happen within the next 12 months, has seen the tech sector slow down hiring and lay off staff in recent months. Microsoft fired around 1,800 employees—less than 1% of its total workforce—in July and removed some job listings.
Google has also been tightening its belt. It pointed to the "uncertain global economic outlook" for its decision to pause hiring and re-deploy resources to high-priority areas earlier this year. Facebook parent Meta has also been targeting low-performance staff as it looks to streamline operations after the company recorded its first-ever revenue decline in July, the same month GameStop announced layoffs.
Crypto-related businesses have been hit even harder over the last few months. The flagging economy combined with the crypto winter saw several industry names go bankrupt or, in the case of Coinbase and OpenSea, slash employee numbers.
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