Tech Layoff 2023: How do CEOs of the top tech giant justify the company’s mass-scale layoffs?

The mass-scale layoffs have devastated the lives of lakhs, meanwhile, the company’s decision is widely being talked about, here’s what the CEOs of top tech companies have to say

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Google on Friday announced that it would be laying off a whopping 12,000 employees from its global workforce which stands at 6% of the total, becoming the latest addition to the list of tech giants that have drastically impacted the tech world’s ecosystem.

Based on the reports close to a Lakh people lost their jobs in 2022 in the layoff spree, while just a month into 2023 we have witnessed high-profile layoffs that have shown how worst can be the year ahead in terms of employment.

In view of the macroeconomic situation that stands ahead as a major challenge before the world, here’s presenting how the top tech executives have justified the company’s colossal move that has left thousands devastated.

Sundar Pichai, Google:

In a blog post announcing the layoffs, Google CEO Sundar Pichai went on to say, that he takes “full responsibility” for the decisions that led to this call. He further added that it is only inevitable that Google would undergo some difficult economic cycle.

Based on Pichai’s statement, the company witnessed “dramatic growth” in the last two years and hired several employees for a “different economic reality” that the company faces today.

Reportedly, Google’s headcount reduction came after investors pressure to adopt a much more aggressive strategy to cut short the net overall spending. Before the decision to lay off came in the company had already worked on several cost-cutting measures.

Explaining the company’s move Pichai said, “Pivoting the company to be AI-first years ago led to groundbreaking advances across our businesses and the whole industry. We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.”

Andy Jassy, Amazon:

Putting an end to the months-long speculation about the e-commerce giant’s possible decision to lay off 10,000 employees. Its CEO Andy Jassy earlier in January confirmed that the company would be laying off a much larger number of workers, 18,000, which stands at 6% of its global workforce.

Jassy was criticized for the manner in which he announced the company’s call drawing lines of comparison with Pichai, where it was said, “Unlike Pichai’s, Jassy’s statement was neither remorseful nor apologetic.”

Jassy partially attributes the layoffs to Amazon’s “Invent and Simplify” leadership principle. Furthermore, he wrote, “We sometimes overlook the importance of the critical invention, problem-solving, and simplification that goes into figuring out what matters most to customers (and the business), adjusting where we spend our resources and time and finding a way to do more for customers at a lower cost (passing on savings to customers in the process). Both of these types of Invent and Simplify really matter.”

Laying off of the employees at Amazon is happening for the same reason as the one happening at Google, the company hired new workers expecting a different economic reality than the one that materialised.

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Mark Zuckerberg, Meta:

Meta citing intentions of laying off its employees said in the month of November last year said, it would be letting go of 11,000 employees, which make up about 13 per cent of its workforce.

Along the lines of Pichai, Meta CEO Zuckerberg took “responsibility” for the decision that lead to the layoff. Speaking about the company’s prediction that the COVID-induced revenue growth trend will continue, but how the situation backtracked, he added, “At the start of Covid, the world rapidly moved online and the surge of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth.

Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected.”

Based on what Zuckerberg said, the layoff was a last resort for the company and is part of a larger cultural shift in the modus operandi of the company.

The company has also announced that it would be hiring its freeze doing an intense review of its thorough spending. Same as Google, Meta will also focus on building its AI infrastructure.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft:

The tech giant Microsoft, said earlier this month that it would be laying off close to 10,000 employees which are 5% of its global workforce. In a company’s blog post, Company’s CEO Satya Nadella said that the company is also planning to make changes to its hardware portfolio.

In the company’s detailed blog post, Nadella touched on various points, while he said this on customers’ digital spending, “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. 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.

At the same time, the next major wave of computing is being born with advances in AI, as we’re turning the world’s most advanced models into a new computing platform.”

He also spoke about the measures the company is working to take further in the view to ease the transition, for the workers affected by this tough call, including severance pay, the continuance of health insurance coverage, career transition services and a notice period of 60 days.