Layoffs do not delay making money


Beijing time on the morning of March 24th, according to reports, from Europe and the United States to Asia, from Microsoft, Google, to Amazon, SAP, global technology giants have laid off tens of thousands of employees this year.

Surprisingly, the vast majority of these companies are still profitable.

According to a survey by financial services firm Jefferies: “The layoffs are due to overhiring during the pandemic and growth expectations are lower than previously forecast.”

With rising interest rates and high inflation in the United States, consumers are also cutting back on spending amid an uncertain global economic environment.

As a result, companies “need to reduce headcount and regain operational efficiency with headcount matching current demand trends,” the Jefferies analysts concluded.

As rising interest rates have raised the cost of capital, companies have also been forced to reduce staff spending.

“This is especially the case for start-ups that have previously significantly increased their headcount because of low-cost capital,” Bank of America Global Research wrote in a note.

Here are a few of the global tech giants that have been relentless in laying off workers despite still earning healthy profits:


Microsoft posted a net profit of $16.4 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, down 8% from a year ago. Cloud computing has become an important growth engine, and Microsoft’s cloud business revenue reached US$27.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 22%.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (Satya Nadella) said in the annual report that despite facing a “turbulent environment”, Microsoft still achieved “record performance” in the 2022 fiscal year ending June 30.

He said in the annual report for the 2022 fiscal year: “We achieved revenue of 198 billion U.S. dollars and operating profit of 83 billion U.S. dollars. Microsoft cloud annualized revenue exceeded 100 billion U.S. dollars for the first time.”

Still, Microsoft announced in January that it would cut 10,000 jobs in response to slowing revenue growth.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company

Alphabet announced in January this year that it was cutting 12,000 jobs.

The company missed fourth-quarter profit and revenue estimates, but managed 1% year-over-year revenue growth in the quarter ended December.

Its CFO Ruth Porat (Ruth Porat) said on the earnings conference call that Alphabet added 3,455 employees in the quarter, most of them technical positions.

She said in an interview with the media that the company intends to slow down the pace of hiring in order to pursue longer-term profitable growth.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Sundar Pichai) wrote in a memo to employees: “We have experienced rapid growth in the past two years. In order to adapt and facilitate this growth, we hired a large number of employees, but now face The economic situation has changed.”


Amazon cut 18,000 jobs in January and plans to cut another 9,000 in the coming weeks.

But in fact, Amazon’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2022 released not long ago is very good, exceeding analysts’ expectations.

The company’s net revenue rose 9 percent to $149.2 billion in the quarter, but operating profit slipped to $2.7 billion, down from $3.5 billion a year ago.

Overall, Amazon’s growth in 2022 will be the slowest since it went public in 1997. The e-commerce giants said they were bracing for recessionary pressures and shrinking consumer spending.


Germany’s SAP’s performance in 2022 is fully in line with expectations, with cloud business revenue growing by 24%. The enterprise software company also returned to positive 2% operating profit growth.

However, SAP announced in January that it would cut 3,000 jobs as management hopes to achieve double-digit profit growth in 2023.

Sea Group

Singaporean tech giant Sea Group posted a net profit of US$422.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, its first quarterly profit since the company was founded in 2019.

A few days later, Shopee, the company’s Indonesian e-commerce company, carried out a new round of layoffs, affecting fewer than 500 full-time and contract workers.

However, according to media reports, the company has laid off more than 7,000 employees last year, accounting for about 10% of its total workforce.

Other Asian tech companies have not been spared either.

GoTo Group in Indonesia, Carousell and Foodpanda in Singapore, Naver and Kakao in South Korea have all laid off staff in the past few months.


Dell achieved revenue of $102.3 billion in fiscal 2023, which ended on February 3, a year-on-year increase of 1%. Operating profit for the year rose 24% to $5.77 billion.

The PC maker announced in February that it would cut 5% of its workforce, totaling about 6,650.

Dell’s co-COO Jeff Clarke (Jeff Clarke) said in the memo that the layoffs are to “address the impact of the down cycle in advance.”

Although revenue growth in fiscal year 2023 was achieved, Dell’s operating profit in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023 fell 26% to $1.18 billion as global demand for PCs and notebooks shrank.


Apple has so far refrained from mass layoffs, and its hiring has been slower than Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Meta.

However, the company is also tightening spending.

It is reported that Apple has postponed the payment of bonuses to some employees and limited hiring in March. It is reported that Apple also laid off some contract workers in August.

In the first fiscal quarter of fiscal 2023, which ended on December 31, the company’s revenue, profit and sales in several businesses fell short of expectations.

Apple CEO Tim Cook blamed the strong dollar, supply chain disruptions and macroeconomic issues.


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