Apple to downsize retail teams, eliminate certain roles
Apple Inc., the world's most valuable company, which has earlier shown an aversion to sacking its employees, is doing away with a small number of roles within its corporate retail teams in a belt-tightening exercise, Bloomberg reported.
The tech giant previously cut corporate jobs before the pandemic, when it eliminated a couple hundred members of its self-driving car division.
According to the report, a few heads would be rolled in the development and preservation teams. However, the tech giant has yet to make the move public. Those affected segments are manned by staff who are responsible for the construction and upkeep of Apple retail stores and other facilities around the world.
It is not clear how many employees would be asked to go, but the number is believed to be small. Apple has so far kept restraint on slashing jobs at a time when its peers are moving ahead with firing their employees in what they described as moves to revive financial fortunes through cost cutting.
Apple is also projecting the move as a streamlining effort, rather than layoffs. Apple management is trying to convince staff by saying that the changes were designed to improve the upkeep of stores globally. Authorities are also trying to assuage fears with promises of support.
Earlier, the iPhone maker refrained from hiring executives, who had left in droves. Even Apple CEO Tim Cook's trusted lieutenants quit the firm over the past few years, posing challenges to day-to-day functioning. Despite the departure of high-valued top executives, Apple abstained from hiring professionals for vacant posts.
The tech giant held back incentives. It trimmed budgets and pared back much of its contractor workforce, including on-contract engineers, recruiters, and security guards.
Apple, however, asked employees in those groups if they would have the ability to reapply for several roles similar to their prior jobs. Those who don’t take a new role will get as much as four months of pay, the report said.
The firm is also firing some managers, while those employees could be rehired as so-called individual contributors. They may not have the same compensation. In a few instances, some employees are exempt and will keep their jobs without needing to reapply.
According to estimates, Apple had 164,000 employees as of September, when its last fiscal year ended. The company approached expenditures with caution and avoided incurring extra costs. It didn’t expand its workforce like other big tech companies during the pandemic, avoiding the need for major layoffs.
The iPhone maker did not reduce headcounts at a time when its peers, like Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, have slashed tens of thousands of jobs across sections.