In recent months, most major tech companies have laid off large numbers of employees. There is talk of more than 250,000 job cuts. A US billionaire and an affected person recently commented on this – and do not only see the blame on the finances.
The past six months have been difficult for Silicon Valley, which has been accustomed to success. The American job engine faltered and, according to “Cnet”, more than 250,000 people lost their jobs worldwide. The explanation was quite easy for the bosses of the corporations: Sundar Pichai, CEO of the Google mother company Alphabet, explained that dramatic growth had been experienced in the past two years, which no longer fits in with economic reality today. So you have to react.
This was also heard from Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder and Meta CEO. He assumed that the surprising success of his company would continue unabated after the end of the pandemic, he wrote in a message to his employees. But since that did not happen, many had to take their hats off. And it goes on: Mark Zuckerberg recently wrote on Facebook that around 10,000 people will have to vacate their positions in the coming months and 5,000 advertisements for vacancies will be withdrawn.
Personnel for tasks that did not exist
The US billionaire and tech CEO Thomas Siebel chatted to “Businessinsider” from the sewing box. In his opinion, the corporations had simply exaggerated and completely lost their temper when it came to new hires. He sees the mass layoffs as “the end of the madness” that has overtaken Silicon Valley.
“Many just didn’t do anything from home,” Siebel told Business Insider. Meta and Google would have brought people on board for whom “there were no tasks”. It should be said that Siebel does not seem to be a friend of the new working world, which allows employees to do their work at home instead of driving to the office. The interview with him underlines this several times.
But he is not wrong. A Tiktok video by a former Meta employee makes this clear. Britney Levy says of herself that she has not yet signed the dismissal papers and Meta’s non-disclosure clause and can therefore freely describe her situation – which she then does.
According to Levy, the time at Meta was “really weird”. She came on board in April 2022 and after three days received a survey on the topic of diversity for the first time. After that, everyone she started with was given a task – just not her. “I’m one of those people who got hired for a really weird position. I got mixed up very quickly with a group of people who didn’t have any job. We just sat there,” she explains in the video. Finding work has always been a struggle.
“It seemed to me like Meta was just bringing people on board so other companies couldn’t. They collected us like Pokémon cards,” Levy continued. In another video, Levy describes such a team as a “frozen pipeline,” meaning a situation where nothing is happening. “Very talented” people found themselves in it, she adds. Since they could not show any current benefits at the time of the dismissals, this meant they were dismissed.
Successful, yes – but significantly less growth
The tech journalist Peter Kafka provided another explanation for the situation in which the Valley is today on “Vox” in November. When asked if a lack of growth was to blame for the misery, he replied: “Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple all had insane, insane, insane growth. They were at the forefront of the tech revolution of the last two decades, ed . d. Red.) They were there. They were rewarded for that. But these companies aren’t growing at the same pace anymore. Many of them are pretty old now – or their main product is pretty old.” Kafka also cites the iPhone as an example.
“A lot of these companies and products are still very large and very profitable, but they’re not going to grow as fast. And big tech is less dynamic than it used to be. These big tech companies were disruptors, and now they are like the big, established giants. And from a Wall Street perspective, that’s less attractive,” he adds.
So Thomas Siebel speaks of a kind of “shrinking to health” when he says: “The whole thing simply has to take care of itself.” Because with the pandemic, the corporations have set themselves up for a boom that has not materialized. But you don’t have to worry about the companies, as the “San Francisco Chronicle” writes. There Russell Hancock, the CEO of a non-profit business and community group, says that one cannot speak of a crisis and that the layoffs must be viewed as market adjustments.