This past week saw big tech firms like Amazon, Google, and Duolingo letting go of many workers. They’re doing this to adjust their employee numbers and reduce expenses. This follows a trend of job cuts in 2022 and 2023 due to ongoing worries about a recession.
Twitch, which Amazon owns, is planning to let go of 35% of its staff, about 500 people. Twitch’s CEO, Dan Clancy, mentioned in a blog post that the company is bigger than necessary for its current business size. Amazon’s audiobook branch, Audible, also made cuts, affecting 100 employees.
On the same day, Amazon said it would lay off several hundred workers from its Prime Video and MGM Studios divisions. This decision came after a thorough review of the company’s operations, as mentioned in a memo from Mike Hopkins, the senior vice president of Prime Video. Interestingly, Amazon’s stock price has slightly increased this year.
Google also made cuts, laying off hundreds from various departments including engineering, hardware, and the team working on Google Assistant, its voice-operated virtual assistant. This information came from internal emails seen by the New York Times and Semafor. Google’s stock price has risen a bit this year too.
This week, Duolingo, the language learning app, decided to reduce its contract workforce by 10%. The exact number of affected workers is not specified. The company is shifting its focus to using artificial intelligence for creating content, as reported by several news sources. However, Duolingo confirmed that these layoffs won’t impact its full-time employees. Notably, Duolingo’s stock value has decreased by 6.54% this year, now at $212.
Humane, an AI startup, also announced it’s cutting 4% of its staff, which amounts to 10 employees. Bethany Bongiorno, the company’s founder and CEO, explained on LinkedIn that these layoffs are part of a plan aimed at positioning the company for further growth.
Discord’s CEO, Jason Citron, stated this week that the platform will be letting go of 17% of its staff, approximately 170 people. This move, as reported by The Verge, is to help the company focus more sharply and enhance collaboration, bringing more agility to its operations.
Unity Software, a company that develops video game software, revealed in a recent filing that it will lay off about 25% of its workforce. This amounts to approximately 1,800 jobs. The reason given for these layoffs is to restructure the company for sustainable and profitable growth in the long run. Unity’s stock has fallen by nearly 13.5% this year, now priced just over $34.
In the tech sector, layoffs have been significant this month, but they don’t compare to the number of job losses last January. According to Layoffs.fyi, a site that tracks layoffs, 37 tech companies have made cuts this month. This is much less than the 278 companies that reduced their workforce last January.
Meanwhile, Citigroup announced plans to cut 20,000 jobs over the next two years. This decision was shared by CFO Mark Mason following a significant fourth-quarter net loss of $1.8 billion, marking the bank’s worst quarter in 15 years. Citigroup’s decision is part of a larger trend among U.S. banks, which includes major layoffs at Goldman Sachs (4,000 employees last year) and JPMorgan Chase (1,000 employees in May).