Layoffs In The Tech Industry - February 2023

Layoffs In The Tech Industry - February 2023
Post Author: Aaron Decker | Image by tasukaran from Pixabay
Date published: February 10, 2023

At this point almost every large tech company has taken steps to implement layoffs (or at least hiring freezes). Here is a short summary - from

  • Microsoft: multiple rounds, at least 10k jobs
  • Disney: 7k jobs
  • Salesforce: 8k headcount, 10% of workforce
  • Meta: 11k headcount in Nov 2022.
  • Shopify: 1k headcount, 10% of global workforce
  • Amazon: 18k total announced Jan 2023
  • Google: 12k total.

Many smaller tech companies with large headcount made deep cuts as well. This includes Uber, Twitter, Cisco, Groupon, Peloton, Carvana, Zillow, Paypal, Airbnb and more.

Who is not doing layoffs?

At this point the question to ask is - who is not doing layoffs? Generally speaking they are mostly smaller companies who raised money over the last year and have not expanded yet. Specifically these are seed, Series A, and Series B size companies (5-200 headcount or so). These companies have money in the bank but even so they are being nudged by investors to reduce burn and be careful with hiring.

Why? Because the rising interest rates impact the VC funding environment. Yes all of these startups may be cash rich right now, but if they can't raise more money for more than a year many will run into trouble. The only other option is to quickly become cash flow positive.

How do I know this? Because I am a co-founder of a seed stage startup who is navigating this environment now and can see a lot of our competitors in this position as well. Everyone raised money in 2021 / 2022 but now the general consensus is startups might need to make it all the way to 2024 without raising again.

What does that mean? Probably less hiring overall (since payroll is the biggest cost for a software startup) and making do with contractors and services and current employees only. If employees quit they are going to be less likely to be backfilled.

Is tech pay coming down?

Down? Maybe not down, but I do see the pace of increases moderating. Recruiters that are floating candidates to me lately are not asking for insane comp & 4 day workweeks on behalf of candidates anymore.

I don't think it's an absolute job seekers market anymore, but I don't think they will be asking for lower salaries than they were last year.

Just anecdotally I do think a lot of tech companies are going to start experimenting more with offshoring and contracting more, rather than deal with the expectations domestic candidates seem to have for employers.

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Written By Aaron Decker

I'm currently a co-founder and head of engineering at a venture backed startup called Bounty. I tend to think of myself as a backend engineer that can work up and down the stack in Typescript. Previously, I have worked as a Tech Lead and hired teams, and as a Senior Software Engineer at multiple fortune 500 companies building large products. I also did a brief stint teaching programming courses as an Adjunct Instructor at a local community college, which taught me a lot about breaking down complex things into understandable chunks.