News: Google, Amazon, Wells Fargo and others lay off employees amid festivities

Strategic HR

Google, Amazon, Wells Fargo and others lay off employees amid festivities

Tech behemoths like Google and Amazon are once more implementing significant employee layoffs, including some during the holiday season festivities.
Google, Amazon, Wells Fargo and others lay off employees amid festivities

Once again, the surge in layoffs is gaining momentum, particularly within the tech industry. The onset of 2023 witnessed some of the most severe job cuts, and it appears we're reverting to that same scenario as several tech giants resume widespread employee terminations. Although the pace of these dismissals has somewhat slowed in recent months, the persistent fear of losing one's job remains. 

Even during the festive season, the shadow of layoffs looms large, with major industry players like Google, Amazon, Snap, and others announcing new rounds of workforce reductions. These recent layoffs have reportedly impacted employees across various domains including product management, consumer services, and engineering, causing disruptions across continents.


The company recently implemented workforce reductions within its Users & Products team, tasked with handling consumer grievances. Although Google has downplayed these layoffs as insignificant, they align with a broader pattern of downsizing across Alphabet's other subsidiaries, including Verily, Waymo, and Google News. Reports indicate that the layoffs, announced last week, hint at Alphabet's potential strategic reorganisation, emphasising key sectors poised for future expansion, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and autonomous vehicles.


The e-commerce entity is undergoing layoffs within its music division, impacting employees across North America, Latin America, and Europe. Amazon asserts that these reductions form part of a strategic evaluation aimed at emphasising customer priorities and securing the company's long-term viability. These recent layoffs come in contrast to Amazon's previous announcement regarding the stabilisation of its cloud business and the projected revenue growth anticipated during the holiday season.


Pfizer's $3.5 billion cost-cutting effort reached Ireland earlier this month, followed by an announcement of hundreds more job cuts in the UK. The company plans to eliminate about 500 roles at its Kent-based Sandwich site as part of a broader cost realignment initiative. Despite this, the site will remain open, with operations adjusted in size. Notably, Pfizer's Sandwich site was where Viagra was first discovered, and during the pandemic, it received substantial investments for Covid-19 drug development.


The social media platform entered the ranks of companies trimming their workforce. Recently, around 20 employees from its product team were laid off. Snap clarified that these job cuts were not linked to any particular product but are part of a broader initiative aimed at enhancing decision-making and cutting costs. Notably, this round of layoffs at Snap followed several notable departures, including the company's vice president of engineering.

Continental AG

The European auto-parts manufacturer is contemplating a significant restructuring that may cut 5,500 jobs, about 3% of its global workforce. An official announcement is expected soon, affecting around 1,000 jobs in Germany. While details aren't confirmed, there's a focus on potential administrative changes for faster decisions and cost-saving measures. The company aims to communicate decisions to employees before the public, reflecting the industry's trend of adapting to maintain competitiveness in a dynamic market.

Wells Fargo

The firm initiated layoffs in its corporate and investment banking division, impacting around 40-50 employees from high-ranking managing directors to junior staff. This move aims to streamline operations and cut costs due to a prolonged decline in dealmaking activity, aligning with similar strategies by financial giants like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and others facing the slowdown in mergers and acquisitions.

The bank reaffirmed its commitment to the corporate and investment banking sector despite the necessary reductions. Notably, the departure of Lear Beyer, a veteran equity capital markets banker with an 18-year tenure at Wells Fargo, was also announced. This downsizing comes amid a sustained decrease in investment banking fees among top Wall Street banks and reflects broader industry challenges in adapting to evolving market conditions. Wells Fargo had reported a 5% year-on-year decline in its workforce by September 30, indicative of the industry's shifting landscape.

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Topics: Strategic HR, #Layoffs, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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