Companies across the tech industry have announced layoffs, affecting thousands of workers in the first few weeks of 2023.
Sales at top tech firms have retreated from the blistering pace attained during the pandemic, when billions across the world were forced into isolation. Customers stuck at home came to rely on delivery services like e-commerce and virtual connections formed through social media and videoconferencing.
Company officials have often cited economic uncertainty and fears of a recession in their job-cutting, cost-cutting decisions. It follows a volatile 2022, which was also marred with layoffs by the thousands across major tech brands.
SAP, the biggest software company in Europe, will lay off 2.5% of its global workforce, which amounts to about 2,800 employees, an earnings report on Thursday showed.
The move, which the company described as a "targeted restructuring," will cost between 250 million and 300 million euros, the earnings report said.
The layoffs will deliver yearly cost savings in 2024, the company said.
IBM will lay off 1.5% of its workforce or about 3,900 employees, the company announced on Wednesday.
The move is tied to the formerly disclosed spinoff of Kyndryl, an IT-management company, as well as the sale of two business units, a spokesperson said ABC News.
The layoffs will cost the company $300 million over the first three months of 2023, the spokesperson said.
Spotify, the Sweden-based music streaming platform, announced on Monday plans to slash 6% of its workforce, which amounts to about 600 employees.
After strong pandemic-era performance, the company encountered a challenging business environment, CEO Daniel Ek said employees in a memo on Monday.
"Like numerous other leaders, I hoped to sustain the strong tailwinds from the pandemic and believed that our broad global business and lower risk to the impact of a slowdown in ads would insulate us," he said. "In hindsight, I was too ambitious in investing ahead of our revenue growth."
Online home goods retailer Wayfair will lay off about 1,750 workers or roughly 10% of its staff, the company announced Friday, Jan. 20.
Wayfair saw business surge during the pandemic, as individuals stuck at home eschewed brick-and-mortar shopping and increased spending on furniture, home renovations and other domestic improvements.
But the economic surrounding has turned against the company, as inflation has strained household budgets and limited nonessential purchases.
The move last week follows a previous round of layoffs in August that reduce 5% of the company's workforce.
"We thrive when we are scrappy and dedicated to customer outcomes," Wayfair CEO and Co-founder Niraj Shah said Friday in a message to employees. "Unfortunately, along the way, we over complicated things, missing sight of some of our fundamentals and simply grew too big."
Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, said it will cut roughly 12,000 jobs from its global workforce on Friday, Jan. 20.
The decision will impact approximately 6% of the company's employees.
"This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented individuals we worked hard to hire and have loved working with," said Google's CEO Sundar Pichai in an email to Google employees on Friday morning.
"I'm deeply sorry for that. The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here."
Pichai said employees the company is "bound to go through difficult economic cycles" and will "reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities."
Microsoft said on Jan. 18 it will lay off 10,000 employees this year, affecting almost 5% of Microsoft's global workforce.
The layoffs at Microsoft arrive in response to "macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities," the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"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," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a memo to employees on Wednesday.
He continued, "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."
In early January, Amazon announced plans to eliminate just over 18,000 roles total, including impending layoffs announced in November. The majority of roles being reduce are in Amazon Stores and People Experience and Technology Solutions teams, according to an email sent to employees from Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.
Jassy had warned in November that job cuts at the e-commerce giant would continue in early 2023. Amazon employs roughly 1.5 million employees around the globe.
"This year's review has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we've employed rapidly over the last several years," the message read.
It continued, "We typically wait to communicate about these outcomes until we can speak with the individuals who are directly impacted. However, because one of our teammates leaked this information externally, we decided it was better to share this news earlier so you can hear the details directly from me."
Coinbase, a cryptocurrency trading platform, announced it will lay off 950 people, in a Jan. 10 statement from CEO Brian Armstrong.
"As we examined our 2023 scenarios, it became clear that we would need to reduce expenses to increase our chances of doing well in every scenario," Armstrong said in the statement.
"While it is always painful to part ways with our fellow colleagues, there was no way to reduce our expenses significantly enough, without considering changes to headcount."
Vox Media is also laying off employees, according to the Vox Media Union.
In a Jan. 20 statement on Twitter, the union said, "We were informed today that the company is laying off around 7 percent of its workforce, and some of our members have been impacted. We're furious at the way the company has approached these layoffs, and are currently discussing how to best serve those who just missing their jobs."
Layoffs affecting other industries
Newell Brands -- the parent company of a host of consumer brands like outdoor goods company Coleman and cookware company Crockpot -- announced on Monday, Jan. 23, plans to lay off 13% of its office staff.
The move came in response to "the reality of the economic environment," CEO Ravi Saligram said in a message to employees.
"There’s no sugar coating this news," he added. "We will have to part with colleagues who we value and enjoy working with."
Jon Haworth contributed to this report.