With rising interest rates and a cooling economy, there has never been a worse time to be employed in the tech sector. Over the past year, it has been a bloodbath where big tech companies have collectively laid off well over 150,000 employees in 2022, the most out of any sector.
If you thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse, then you’re wrong. In the first three weeks of 2023, firings at tech companies are already at 30% of last years total firings. In other words, the tech industry purged nearly 50,000 people already this year.
One Google employee who had been with the company for over 16 years, recently discussed the cold, heartless layoffs that put him out of a veteran job in the tech industry. He described Google as “faceless” and the staff as “100% disposable”.
Business Insider reported that Google recently fired 12,000 employees or roughly 6 percent of its global workforce. One disgruntled employee took to LinkedIn to share his experience.
Before being laid off, engineering manager Justin Moore had worked for Google for more than 16 years. Moore wrote on LinkedIn that he learned about the layoff in a grossly impersonal way — through an automated account deactivation at 3:00 a.m. He added that he had not received any additional “information” or “communication” regarding his termination and that his access to any such communications had been disabled as a result of the deactivation.
Moore continued by stating that his time at Google had been “largely wonderful” and that he was pleased with the work he had accomplished internationally. He added that “employers, particularly large, faceless ones like Google, see you as 100% disposable.” “Live life, not work,” he urged others.
Google isn’t the only big tech company that is facing criticism for its large staffing cuts. Microsoft recently announced plans to layoff 10,000 employees, the largest round of cuts since 2014. Simultaneously, the corporation was hosting a live concert for its top executives featuring musician Sting.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
On Tuesday evening, Microsoft hosted an event. It was an intimate gathering of 50 or so people, including the company’s top executives, who got to while away the evening listening to a performance by the musical artist Sting, said people familiar with the event.
The concert would end up sounding a sour note to some employees at Microsoft the next morning. On Wednesday—while much of the company’s leadership team was halfway around the world from its Redmond, Wash. headquarters—it announced plans to lay off 10,000 people. It was the largest round of layoffs Microsoft has had since 2014, and as CEO Satya Nadella would explain in a blog post, reflected the need for the company to adapt to a global economic slowdown.
As the Microsoft layoffs came down, some employees described it all as a bad look. While hobnobbing at Davos is part of doing business for major tech corporations and the events are planned far in advance making it difficult to change them, some employees thought it wasn’t the right time for a company-sponsored Sting concert. The theme of the event was sustainability.
While tech companies boasted some of the best benefits and highest levels of employee happiness over the past few years, we’ve come to learn that was mostly due to a sustained period of low interest rates that fueled a tech boom. Particularly, during the pandemic when demand for technology skyrocketed due to work from home accommodations and interest rates were literally at zero. However, those days are coming to an end.
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