Big Tech: “the year of efficiency” is extended

The wave of mass lay-offs by tech companies that took place during 2023 does not stop. Since the beginning of the year, the giants of the sector have already announced new cuts of thousands of employees to improve the efficiency of their productivity.


After announcing two rounds of lay-offs totalling 21,000 workers, Mark Zuckerberg explained that 2023 would be “the year of efficiency” for Meta. Other Big Tech executives followed suit in a year that saw more than 260,000 lay-offs in the tech sector.

The exponential growth in tech workforces experienced during the pandemic, thanks to increased sales and demand for services, were numbered. The return to normality caused mass recruitments to turn into mass lay-offs. Geopolitical conflicts and runaway inflation only accelerated cuts in the sector.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company that laid off 12,000 employees in 2023, has already confirmed lay-offs in multiple parts of its ecosystem, including several hundred workers in its advertising sales team and more than 1,000 employees in other units. Amazon has also announced a new round of lay-offs that will affect hundreds of workers in its Amazon MGM Studios and Prime Video divisions. Meta, Twitch, YouTube and others have been added to the increasing stream of dismissals.

European tech giants are not far behind. German enterprise software developer SAP will carry out a restructuring that will affect around 8,000 employees globally, 7.4% of the workforce, by 2024.


Restructuring, efficiency and AI

Many of the recent lay-offs are because large tech companies are still trying to correct over-hiring during the pandemic. Still, the impact of the booming introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the sector cannot be ignored.

While the rise of artificial intelligence has created new occupations and disciplines related to the programming and development of these automated systems, more and more companies, such as Dropbox and Meta, are citing AI as a reason for redundancy as they refocus their resources to improve the efficiency of their operations.

Whatever the reasons for the massive lay-offs, we should not be surprised by the trend when companies like X, formerly Twitter, continue to run smoothly after cutting up to 80% of their workforce and streamlining their operations, focusing on their core competencies and applying the premise of getting more work done and wasting less time in meetings.

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