Millions of Americans remain uneasy about the future of the economy. Troubles in the banking industry are just the latest sign that an economic downturn could be just over the horizon.
CEOs of major companies are especially worried that the economy will contract soon. Last October, 86% of chief executives polled forecast a recession in 2023. And they are wasting no time getting ready for hard times.
Many big companies recently have announced layoffs of 1,000 employees or more. Some of these companies are trying to restructure while others appear to be getting lean and mean before a downturn potentially arrives.
Following is a roll call of the firms slimming their workforces.
Beginning last November and running through January, Amazon laid off around 18,000 employees. The cuts impacted several divisions, including devices, human resources and stores.
This week, Amazon announced another wave of 9,000 layoffs. This round of job cuts will impact cloud computing, human resources, advertising and Twitch livestreaming businesses.
Tyson Foods will lay off 1,700 workers and close two chicken plants — in Van Buren, Arkansas, and Glen Allen, Virginia — in May.
The company says its chicken business has underperformed lately. In a statement to CNBC, the company said:
“While the decision was not easy, it reflects our broader strategy to strengthen our poultry business by optimizing operations and utilizing full available capacity at each plant.”
Mark Zuckerberg — the CEO of Meta Platforms Inc., which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — has dubbed 2023 the “year of efficiency.” With that theme in mind, Meta recently announced that it will eliminate 10,000 jobs.
The announcement follows on the heels of a decision to lay off more than 11,000 staffers late last year. In a memo to employees, Zuckerberg wrote that the new round of layoffs is expected to begin over the next couple of months.
In the memo, Zuckerberg said the layoffs are necessary to protect Meta Platforms from what he anticipates will be a deteriorating economy for a long time to come:
“At this point, I think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years. Higher interest rates lead to the economy running leaner, more geopolitical instability leads to more volatility, and increased regulation leads to slower growth and increased costs of innovation.”
In February, cloud communications software company Twilio announced plans to lay off around 1,500 employees. In an email to workers, CEO Jeff Lawson said the moves are necessary to keep the company competitive.
The cuts follow a wave of layoffs at Twilio last September.
Rupert Murdoch’s media company News Corp. — which owns The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, the New York Post and HarperCollins — will lay off 1,250 workers, or about 5% of the company’s workforce.
The job losses will occur by the end of the year. A challenging advertising market might be behind the layoffs, CNBC reports.
Yahoo said in February that it plans to lay off 20% of its workforce.
The move is part of a restructuring of its advertising unit and will likely impact more than 1,600 employees, including nearly 50% of workers in the advertising unit, CNN reports.
In part of a major overhaul, Disney will reorganize into three divisions — entertainment, ESPN, and parks, experiences and products — and eliminate about 7,000 jobs.
The goal is to cut around $5.5 billion in costs.
Communications technology company Zoom is cutting 15% of its workforce, or 1,300 employees.
In a Feb. 7 blog post on the company website, CEO Eric Yuan said businesses continue to use Zoom:
“But the uncertainty of the global economy, and its effect on our customers, means we need to take a hard — yet important — look inward to reset ourselves so we can weather the economic environment, deliver for our customers and achieve Zoom’s long-term vision.”
CEO Mike Roman said in January that around 2,500 employees would lose their jobs at 3M. Slowing growth was behind the decision at the multinational conglomerate that owns brands such as Post-it, Filtrete and Scotch.
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Dow announced plans in January to lay off about 2,000 employees worldwide.
The chemical company said it wants to cut $1 billion in expenses to help it cope with a slowing economy and drooping demand.
In January, IBM announced plans to cut about 1.5% of its workforce. In a Jan. 25 interview with Bloomberg, CFO James Kavanaugh estimated that around 3,900 workers would lose their jobs.
The bulk of lost jobs stems from the multinational technology company’s decision to spin off its Kyndryl and Watson Health units, Bloomberg reports. Kavanaugh said hiring will continue in “higher-growth areas.”
Earlier this year, Europe’s largest software company announced plans to eliminate 2.5% of its workforce worldwide. That means roughly 2,800 employees will get pink slips, according to an earnings report published Jan. 26.
SAP hopes the layoffs will position it better in a slowing economy and allow the company to focus on its cloud business and other areas.
In January, investment bank Goldman Sachs began the first of what it said would be 3,200 layoffs.
A slowing economy and woes in both retail and investment banking led to the company’s move. Such a large number of job losses has not been seen at Goldman Sachs since the Great Recession.
Coinbase announced in January that it would cut its workforce by about 950 workers. The announcement arrived just a few months after the cryptocurrency exchange platform laid off 1,100 workers.
The wave of layoffs at Coinbase reveals how quickly economic conditions are changing. Just one year ago, Coinbase was projecting it would add 2,000 new employees.
Late last year, online used-car dealer Carvana said it was laying off 1,500 employees, or around 8% of its workforce.
In an email to employees, CEO Ernie Garcia said the company is cutting back due to economic conditions such as higher financing costs and delayed car purchasing.
According to reports, Garcia wrote to employees that the company “failed to accurately predict how this would all play out and the impact it would have on our business.”
Networking firm Cisco Systems announced in November that it is shedding more than 4,000 jobs, or about 5% of its workforce.
The cuts are part of a planned $600 million restructuring. However, the company noted that it will hire for new roles in the wake of the restructuring and plans to end its current fiscal year with roughly the same number of employees as before the layoffs.
Information technology company Hewlett-Packard has announced layoffs that could mean from 4,000 to 6,000 employees getting pink slips during the next three years.
The job cuts are part of a plan to generate savings “through digital transformation, portfolio optimization and operational efficiency,” according to an HP press release in November.
Online payments firm Stripe said in early November that it was laying off roughly 14% of its staff. According to a CNBC report:
“Stripe said its head count will be reduced to about 7,000 employees, which means the layoffs will impact roughly 1,100 people. A Stripe spokesperson was not immediately available to provide the exact number of impacted employees.”
In a memo to employees, CEO Patrick Collison said the layoffs were necessary due to rising inflation, fears of an impending recession, higher interest rates and other factors.
In a highly publicized round of layoffs, new Twitter owner Elon Musk cut the company’s workforce significantly in November.
According to a CNN report:
“Musk appeared to frame the sweeping layoffs as necessary for a company that, like other social media firms, was experiencing ‘revenue challenges’ prior to his acquisition as advertisers rethink spending amid recession fears.”
The layoffs — and an estimated 1,000 resignations since Musk took over — mean Twitter’s employee roster has shrunk significantly. After another 200 people lost their jobs in Feb. 2023, it was reported that the company employed fewer than 2,000 workers, down from 7,500 prior to Musk’s acquisition.