Electronic Arts becomes latest tech-sector company to announce layoffs
By James Rogers
More than 157,000 global technology-sector employees have been laid off since the beginning of 2023
Electronic Arts has joined Amazon, Meta, Palantir Technologies, Twilio, Zoom, eBay, Okta, Splunk, PayPal, IBM, SAP, Spotify, Alphabet, Intel, Microsoft, Coinbase, Cisco, Salesforce, HP, Roku, Beyond Meat and Twitter in announcing major layoffs in recent months.
More than 157,000 global technology-sector employees have been laid off since the start of 2023, according to data compiled by the website Layoffs.fyi.
Here's a look at the list of big names across a number of sectors that have been cutting back their workforces.
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) has announced its intention to slash 6% of its workforce. The videogame publisher is looking to cut costs, according to a note sent to employees by CEO Andrew Wilson.
Related:EA laying off 6% of staff in cost-cutting push for videogame publisher
"As we drive greater focus across our portfolio, we are moving away from projects that do not contribute to our strategy, reviewing our real estate footprint, and restructuring some of our teams," he wrote. "These decisions are expected to impact approximately six percent of our company's workforce."
According to EA's most recent 10-K annual filing, the company had 12,900 employees as of March 31, 2022.
Streaming-media company Roku Inc. (ROKU) disclosed in late March that it would lay off 200 employees as part of a cost-cutting plan.
Related:Roku to lay off 200 employees, exit some leases to cut costs
Roku Inc. first announced in November that it would cut about 5% of its workforce amid a challenging advertising landscape.
The latest job cuts would account for about 6% of the company's workforce, which stood at 3,600 as of Dec. 31, according to Roku's 2022 annual report.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) recently announced that it was was eliminating another 9,000 jobs in addition to the 18,000 layoffs the company announced in January. In a memo to staff, Amazon Chief Executive Andy Jassy said the cuts would take place over the next few weeks and would primarily affect Amazon Web Services, People Experience and Technology Solutions, advertising and Twitch.
"This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term," he wrote.
Related:Amazon's stock dips 1% as another 9,000 layoffs announced
"As our internal businesses evaluated what customers most care about, they made re-prioritization decisions that sometimes led to role reductions, sometimes led to moving people from one initiative to another, and sometimes led to new openings where we don't have the right skills match from our existing team members," he added. "This initially led us to eliminate 18,000 positions (which we shared in January); and, as we completed the second phase of our planning this month, it led us to these additional 9,000 role reductions."
In a blog post, Dan Clancy, CEO of Amazon's Twitch subsidiary, said that just over 400 people will be laid off from the livestreaming service.
Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. (META) announced plans to lay off 10,000 more employees as it focuses on a "year of efficiency."
"With less hiring, I've made the difficult decision to further reduce the size of our recruiting team," Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post on March 14. "We expect to announce restructurings and layoffs in our tech groups in late April, and then our business groups in late May."
Zuckerberg added: "Overall, we expect to reduce our team size by around 10,000 people and to close around 5,000 additional open roles that we haven't yet hired."
Now read: Facebook parent Meta begins mass layoffs of 11,000 workers as Mark Zuckerberg says, 'I take responsibility'
In November, Meta announced that it would cut 11,000 employees, or about 13% of its workforce, in the first layoffs in the company's 18-year history. Zuckerberg took responsibility for the cuts, admitting to expanding the company too quickly amid a pandemic-fueled surge in revenue.
At the time, Zuckerberg wrote that while Meta would be making reductions in every area across both its Family of Apps and Reality Labs segments, some teams would be affected more than others. The cuts to Reality Labs are being closely watched for any potential impact on the company's metaverse strategy, which is handled within the segment.
Data-analytics company Palantir Technologies Inc. (PLTR) announced in late February plans to cut less than 2% of its workforce.
Related: Palantir to cut less than 2% of staff as tech layoffs continue
"We believe our company is at an inflection point and to continue to evolve, we are making the tough choice of reducing teams in several areas," a Palantir spokesperson told MarketWatch. "While less than 2% of our workforce is impacted by these changes, these are incredibly painful decisions but the right ones for the company's future."
According to its most recent 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the software company had 3,838 employees as of Dec. 31.
Communications-software company Twilio Inc. (TWLO) disclosed in mid-February that it would lay off about 17% of its workforce. Based on the company's latest annual report, that would suggest that more than 1,300 employees will be laid off.
The layoffs come amid a restructuring effort at Twilio. In a letter to employees, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said the company was forming two business units, Twilio Communications and Twilio Data and Applications. "When we look at these two business units on their own, it's clear that we've gotten too big, especially in Communications," Lawson wrote. "And that's why we're also letting go of some colleagues today."
Related: Twilio to lay off 17% of its employees to cut costs, while providing upbeat Q4 guidance
This is the second round of layoffs at the company, following cuts announced in September. "At that time, we sought to streamline the company as it was then structured," Lawson said. "Today's news, however, is more driven by the need to organize ourselves differently for success -- and the changes needed to enact this new structure."
Twilio said it expected to record charges of $100 million to $135 million related to the layoffs, mostly in the first quarter of 2023.
In early February, buy-now-pay-later company Affirm Holdings Inc. (AFRM)announced plans to cut 19% of its staff as the company reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter results and outlook.
Related:Affirm stock tanks after earnings whiff, as company plans to lay off 19% of staff
"Over the last three quarters, the Fed increased its benchmark rate at an unprecedented pace," Affirm CEO Max Levchin said in a message to employees. "This has already dampened consumer spending and increased Affirm's cost of borrowing dramatically. The root cause of where we are today is that I acted too slowly as these macroeconomic changes unfolded."
Affirm had 2,552 employees as of June 30, 2022, according to its latest 10-K filing.
Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) announced in early February that it would lay off approximately 15% of its workforce, or around 1,300 people.
In a Feb. 7 blog post, Zoom CEO and founder Eric Yuan pointed to the company's rapid growth during the pandemic. "Our trajectory was forever changed during the pandemic when the world faced one of its toughest challenges, and I am proud of the way we mobilized as a company to keep people connected," he wrote. "To make this possible, we needed to staff up rapidly to support the quick rise of users on our platform and their evolving needs."
Now read:Zoom's stock jumps on news that company will lay off 15% of staff and cut executive pay
The chief executive said the uncertainty of the global economy, and its effect on customers, have prompted Zoom to take "a hard -- yet important -- look inward to reset ourselves so we can weather the economic environment."
Yuan said that he is reducing his salary for the coming year by 98% and forgoing his corporate bonus for fiscal year 2023. Members of the company's executive leadership team will reduce their salaries by 20% for the coming fiscal year while also forfeiting their bonuses, he added.
Zoom had been one of the pandemic's tech winners as people worked from home, but the company has struggled of late as workers return to the office.
In early February, eBay Inc. (EBAY) announced plans to cut about 4% of its staff -- or some 500 employees.
"Over the past few months, we've taken a thoughtful look at where we are as a company with considerations of the macroeconomic situation around the world and how to best invest and operate so that we can continue to be successful," said eBay CEO Jamie Iannone in a Feb. 7 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "To create long-term, sustainable growth for eBay, we need to evolve our organization as we take the next step in our strategy -- focused on driving growth, building a trusted marketplace, empowering enthusiasts and seeding new technologies for the future."
Related:eBay to lay off 500 employees, about 4% of its workforce
The company said the cuts would allow it to concentrate on areas where it could make the biggest impact, according to Iannone. "Importantly, this shift gives us additional space to invest and create new roles in high-potential areas -- new technologies, customer innovations and key markets -- and to continue to adapt and flex with the changing macro, e-commerce and technology landscape," he wrote. "We're also simplifying our structure to make decisions more effectively and with more speed."
Dell Technologies Inc. (DELL) announced plans to cut approximately 5% of its workforce.
The company announced the layoffs in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in early February, citing "a challenging global economic environment."
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March 31, 2023 15:55 ET (19:55 GMT)
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