We’re not even a month into 2024 and tech companies are already ruining lives by the thousands.
While that may sound harsh, there’s not much of a better way to describe mass layoffs by enormous corporations that make popular products. The latest is eBay, which announced its decision to lay off 1,000 employees this week despite posting profits of $1.3 billion in the last fiscal quarter.
But eBay isn’t the only one. Here are five other big tech companies that have cut huge swaths of jobs this January alone.
eBay is laying off 1,000 workers
First up is Twitch, the preeminent video game streaming platform in the U.S. Gamers frequently flock to Amazon-owned Twitch, which recorded massive profits in a fiscal report back in October. From the outside looking in, one would think Twitch wouldn’t need to cut hundreds of staff, but that’s not the case, apparently.
Twitch confirmed in a company blog post that “just over” 500 roles were cut in its latest round of layoffs.
“I know many of you are wondering why this is happening.” Twitch CEO Dan Clancy wrote. “Over the last year, we’ve been working to build a more sustainable business so that Twitch will be here for the long run and throughout the year we have cut costs and made many decisions to be more efficient. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, it has become clear that our organization is still meaningfully larger than it needs to be given the size of our business.”
Last week, the company behind the one website people probably use more than any other announced huge layoffs. Google confirmed in a company blog post that a staggering 12,000 roles were slashed. CEO Sundar Pichai wrote that the layoffs were caused by Google hiring for a “different economic reality” than the one currently in play.
In case you were wondering, Google parent company Alphabet reported $69 billion in revenue and just under $14 billion in profits in its most recent quarterly earnings report.
We’ve already established that Amazon made a lot of money in 2023, way back in the Twitch portion of this article. Now it’s time to talk about the mothership itself.
Just this month alone, Amazon laid off “several hundred” employees in its streaming division, as well as 30 employees in its “Buy with Prime” division. Per TechCrunch, Amazon has eliminated 27,000 jobs in just the last two years.
“We regularly review the structure of our teams and make adjustments based on the needs of the business and, following a recent review, we’ve made the difficult decision to eliminate a small number of roles on our Buy with Prime team,” An Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Again, Amazon makes a lot of money.
4. Riot Games
In case you aren’t in the loop, Riot Games is the company behind several hit video games, including League of Legends and Valorant. Unfortunately, the popularity of those games did not preclude Riot from joining the layoffs bandwagon this month.
Riot confirmed in a blog post that 530 jobs were cut globally this week. That’s roughly 11 percent of the company’s total workforce.
“Over the past several months, we’ve tried to alter our trajectory in many different ways,” CEO Dylan Jadeja wrote. “We asked leaders to make tradeoffs in the things their teams are working on. We rolled out hiring slowdowns, and in some cases hiring freezes. We put an emphasis on controlling costs while strengthening our revenue growth. All of which has without a doubt been tough for our teams.”
However, according to Jadeja, these tactics didn’t move the needle. “As I’ve dug in with leaders across Riot, it’s become clear to all of us that these changes aren’t enough.”
Exact financial data about Riot isn’t as easy to find as the other companies on this list, but data research firm Priori Data estimated that League of Legends had 180 million monthly active players in 2022.
TikTok is the current social center of the internet, but that’s not enough to keep parent company ByteDance from doing layoffs.
Around 60 employees were let go from TikTok earlier this week, according to NPR. This is despite north of 150 million active users in the U.S. and a ByteDance company valuation of $225 billion, per the NPR report. Again, no matter how big or important a product is, the people behind is are never safe from layoffs.
According to AP, TikTok did not provide a reason for the layoffs.