Apple, Google, Meta: All of the tech companies hitting the brakes on hiring

·12-min read

Robinhood (HOOD) became the latest tech company to announce layoffs on Tuesday.

The trading platform said it would cut about 23% its workforce, marking the company's second round of layoffs in less than four months. Robinhood's CEO Vlad Tenev cited "deterioration of the macro environment," inflation, and a "broad crypto market crash" as reasons for the job cuts.

Earlier this week, database giant Oracle (ORCL) became the latest tech company to slash positions as part of a plan to reduce "thousands" of jobs, according to The Information.

Robinhood and Oracle join a long — and still growing — list of tech companies either laying off employees or slowing hirings amid tightening Fed monetary policy and growing recession fears.

Hiring pauses, rescinded offers, and layoffs accelerated last quarter as the S&P 500 (^GSCP) closed out its biggest loss for the first half of the year since 1970.

In July, however, stocks rebounded with the Nasdaq gaining more than 13% and the S&P 500 rising more than 9%.

Yahoo Finance has been keeping a running tally of how tech companies are responding to a slowing economy and challenging financial market conditions.

Robinhood Markets (HOOD)

On August 2nd, the popular brokerage app announced it will cut about 23% of its workforce because of reduced customer trading activity. The announcement came via a blog post from CEO Vlad Tenev after a company-wide meeting.

Noting the company's 9% staff reduction back in April, Tenev said: "This did not go far enough... Since that time, we have seen additional deterioration of the macro environment, with inflation at 40-year highs accompanied by a broad crypto market crash."

As of March 31, the company employed about 3,900 workers. Following these two rounds of cuts, staffing levels are closer to 2,700.

Oracle (ORCL)

The legacy database giant has begun cutting jobs in the U.S, according to The Information. The company reportedly discussed laying off workers in July as part of a move intended to slash $1 billion in expenses. Yahoo Finance reached out to Oracle for a comment and is waiting to hear back. The company has 133,000 employees, 13,000 specialists and 18,000 consultants.

Shopify (SHOP)

Shopify announced that it will lay off 10% of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan. On July 26th CEO Tobias Lütke said the company's business activity has fallen from its pandemic-induced highs and back to a pre-COVID trajectory.

"What we see now is the mix reverting to roughly where pre-Covid data would have suggested it should be at this point. Still growing steadily, but it wasn’t a meaningful 5-year leap ahead," Lütke said in a statement.

Lyft (LYFT)

Lyft is shutting down its first-party rental business, the company told Yahoo Finance. Some 60 employees will be let got as a result of the move, The Wall Street Journal reported. Lyft says the move isn't part of a broader layoff move, but rather a "business decision related to a specific product."

The company will continue to work with its third-party rental partners Sixt and Hertz (HTZ).

Apple (AAPL)

Apple is reportedly slowing hiring and spending in 2023 amid rising inflation and interest rates, according to Bloomberg.

The move is only expected to impact certain business divisions, though which ones is unknown. Apple outmaneuvered the economic turbulence caused by the global chip shortage, COVID shutdowns, and the war in Ukraine for months. But the trio of disasters finally caught up to the company and is expected to cut $4 billion to $8 billion out of Apple's Q3 revenue.

Apple is expected to launch its latest line of iPhones and Apple Watches in September, and could debut its highly-anticipated AR/VR headset next year.

Alphabet (GOOGL) (GOOG)

The tech giant will slow hiring for the rest of the year, according to an email sent to staff from CEO Sundar Pichai, viewed by Bloomberg. "The uncertain global economic outlook has been top of mind. Like all companies, we’re not immune to economic headwinds," Pichai wrote. He went on to say, "We'll be slowing the pace of hiring for the rest of the year, while still supporting our most important opportunities." The company plans to focus hiring on “engineering, technical and other critical roles,” in 2022 and next year. Alphabet employs more than 150,000 people.

Meta (META)

Facebook's parent company plans to slash hiring plans for engineers by at least 30%, according to Reuters.

In late June, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees the company aims to hire between 6,000-7,000 engineers in 2022, down from an initial target closer to 10,000. Meta had confirmed it would limit its intake of new employees in May, but exact figures had not been reported. The social media giant had 77,805 employees worldwide as of March 31, 2022.

Spotify (SPOT)

The world's largest online streaming service has been on a spending spree, plowing cash into its podcast division in an effort to dive deeper into the higher margin business. But the company isn't immune to the current economic backdrop.

According to Bloomberg, Spotify will cut its hiring plans back by 25%, meaning the company will not stop hiring new employees, but will bring on fewer workers than originally expected in the year ahead.

Redfin (RDFN)

Online real estate platform Redfin announced it is laying off approximately 8% of its workforce, with CEO Glenn Kelman citing the continuing slowdown in the housing market and a sharp rise in mortgage rates.

According to Kelman, while the company raised hundreds of millions to prevent layoffs, the decline in housing sales made the move necessary. "We’re losing many good people today, but in order for the rest to want to stay, we have to increase Redfin’s value," Kelman said in a press release.

"And to increase our value, we have to make money. We owe it to everyone who has invested your time or treasure in this company to become profitable, and then very profitable.

Compass (COMP)

Like Redfin, Compass is also laying off employees as the real estate market cools following the pandemic-driven rise in home sales and subsequent slowdown. The company is eliminating 10% of its workforce, or some 450 positions, in the restructuring.

In an SEC filing, the company laid out its plans to reduce U.S. hiring and hold off on backfilling positions lost through attrition, as well as pause any mergers and acquisitions through the rest of 2022.

Shares of Compass have lost half their value in 2022.

Coinbase (COIN)

The crypto exchange platform said it is laying off about 18% of its workforce citing an economic downturn. “We appear to be entering a recession,” wrote CEO Brian Armstrong in a message to employees. “A recession could lead to another crypto winter, and could last for an extended period."

Armstrong also said the company grew too quickly during a bull market.

The June 14th announcement came after crypto prices tanked in recent days. Previously Coinbase had announced it would extend a hiring freeze for the foreseeable future. The company has more than 4,900 employees.

Stitch Fix (SFIX)

Stitch Fix is cutting 15% of its salaried positions, according to Reuters. On June 9, the online styling service told employees it is slashing about 330 positions in non-technology corporate and styling leadership roles. The decision "was one we needed to make to position ourselves for profitable growth ... There will be tough choices along the way, and this is one of those," CEO Elizabeth Spaulding wrote in a message to employees. Stitch Fix has about 11,260 workers.

Intel (INTC)

Intel has frozen hiring for its PC and laptop chip unit. The cost-cutting measure was announced in a June memo reviewed by Reuters. The company is "pausing all hiring and placing all job requisitions on hold" within its client computing group, said the memo. Intel has 122,900 full-time workers.

Bird Global (BRDS)

The vehicle sharing platform is cutting 23% of its staff, according to Layoffs.fyi. In an email to TechCrunch on June 7th, the startup confirmed the layoffs, noting "macro economic trends" have accelerated its plans to profitability. “This path required us to reduce our cost structure in a way that allows us to responsibly and sustainably expand our service beyond the more than 400 cities we operate in today," read the statement. Bird has 572 full-time employees.

Tesla (TSLA)

In addition to Musk's email to execs, the electric vehicle giant's CEO also sent a message to employees on Friday, June 3rd, informing them of plans to cut 10% of the workforce. "Note, this does not apply to anyone actually building cars, battery packs or installing solar," Musk wrote in the note. In late June, Tesla cut about 200 autopilot jobs after cuttting a Tesla has almost 100,000 employees worldwide.

Nvidia (NVDA)

Chip maker Nvidia is similarly pumping the brakes on hiring at the moment, with CFO Colette Kress writing in her own commentary following the company's Q1 earnings report that the graphics card giant will slow hiring in the second half of of its fiscal 2023 to integrate the employees it has already hired. Nvidia was stung by both China's COVID lockdowns and stopping sales in Russia, missing analysts' estimates for its Q2 and saying it will take a $500 million hit due to the twin crises. The company has 22,473 employees across 57 locations worldwide.

Microsoft (MSFT)

In May, Microsoft told Bloomberg that it was slowing hiring for its Office, Windows, and Teams groups to better prepare itself for the coming fiscal year and contend with the current economic environment. The Redmond-based tech giant reported strong Q3 earnings, with a 26% year-over-year increase in cloud revenue, but in early June, the company revised its Q4 revenue and earnings guidance downward, citing the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations. The tech giant has 181,000 employees.

Netflix (NFLX)

Last month, Netflix confirmed it would cut about 150 positions of the streaming giant’s 11,000 workforce in an effort to reduce costs amid slowing revenue growth. “These changes are primarily driven by business needs rather than individual performance, which makes them especially tough as none of us want to say goodbye to such great colleagues,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. Netflix has roughly 11,300 employees.

Lyft (LYFT)

The ride hailing company announced it would slow down hiring and reduce costs, though it promised there would be no layoffs. “It’s clear from our discussions with other business leaders that every company is taking a hard look at how they respond to concerns about an economic slowdown and the dramatic change in investor sentiment,” Lyft president John Zimmer wrote in an internal message reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Lyft currently has about 4,791 employees.

Snap (SNAP)

Snap recently warned it will not meet its revenue goals and aims to reduce costs. The parent company of Snapchat sad it would slow hiring. "Moving forward, we will be taking steps to reprioritize our investments — continuing to invest across our business priorities, but in many cases doing so at a slower pace than we had planned given the operating environment," CEO Evan Spiegel wrote in an internal memo to employees in May. The social media co has 5,661 employees.

Wayfair (W)

Also in May, e-commerce giant Wayfair announced a 90-day hiring freeze citing macro uncertainty. In a statement to Yahoo Finance, the e-commerce platform said, “We’re pleased that typical seasonal sales trends are taking hold, but we see a great deal of uncertainty in the overall economy and believe it’s prudent to make some adjustments that will allow us to control our own destiny.” The company employs 16,681 people.

Uber (UBER)

In early May, Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the ride sharing company would scale back hiring and cut costs. "The least efficient marketing and incentive spend will be pulled back. We will treat hiring as a privilege and be deliberate about when and where we add headcount," Khosrowshahi said in an email viewed by Reuters. The company employs 29,300 workers.

Carvana (CVNA)

Online used car retailer Carvana recently laid off 12% of its workforce, or 2,500 employees. The startup laid off many of its employees over a Zoom call. "Recent macroeconomic factors have pushed automotive retail into recession," the company stated. "While Carvana is still growing, our growth is slower than what we originally prepared for in 2022, and we made the difficult decision to reduce the size of certain operations teams to better align with the current needs of the business." The company employs 21,000 workers.

Twitter (TWTR)

In May, Twitter froze hiring and said it would retrieve some job offers ahead of a buyout offer from Musk. The social media company also scaled back on costs such as travel, consulting, and marketing, according to the memo. Twitter employs roughly 7,500 employees.

DoorDash (DASH)

The food delivery platform warned staff of a slowdown in headcount back in April. Doordash ballooned to 8,600 employees last year, an increase of more than 50%. The company reportedly plans to scale back its count this year to anywhere between 10%-15%. DoorDash employs 8,600 workers.

Peloton (PTON)

In February, Peloton said it would cut 2,800 jobs amid a strategy overhaul. The connected fitness equipment maker announced the departure of CEO John Foley after a challenging quarter and slowing demand. The company has 8,662 full-time employees.

Ines is a markets reporter covering equities. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

Dan Howley is a tech reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @DanielHowley

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