November 8, 2022
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. Breaking news: Salesforce is planning a round of layoffs that could hit as many as 2,500 workers as the software giant faces a new activist investor challenge from Starboard Value. Those plans come on the heels of the large reductions at Twitter, Stripe, and Lyft — and as Meta employees wait for news about the company’s first major layoffs in its 18-year history.— Allison Levitsky, reporter (email | twitter)
Clearly, the Big Tech bloodbath isn’t over. “Many thousands” of Meta employees are expected to lose their jobs Wednesday morning, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Zuck’s comments in the last two weeks hold some clues about his thinking. He also claimed responsibility for over-hiring in his meeting with executives on Tuesday, according to The Journal. And on Meta’s Q3 earnings call on Oct. 26, Zuckerberg defended Meta’s investments in the metaverse, which he said will be “of historic importance” even if they’re far from profitable now.
Zuck was certainly clear on one thing: Most teams in the company will “either stay flat or shrink over the next year.” By the end of 2023, Meta expects to be “roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization” than it is today.
One question now is whether Zuck will cave to investor pressure and make cuts in Reality Labs. Some analysts have also raised eyebrows at Meta’s spending and direction on AI, said Niya Dragova, the co-founder of Candor, a startup that helps public tech company employees manage their stock-based compensation.
Salesforce’s layoffs are expected to affect roughly 2,000 people or more for “performance” issues, with several hundred others to be placed on a 30-day review, sources told Protocol. Unnamed sources told Axios and CNBC that Salesforce had let go of fewer than 1,000 employees this week, and the company sent a statement to both outlets that its “sales performance process drives accountability” and that “unfortunately, that can lead to some leading the business.”
The company is under pressure from investors to produce a greater return. Last month, Starboard Value disclosed a “significant” stake in Salesforce, Protocol’s Joe Williams reports.
Automation also ensures consistency and standardization. The more automated the process is, the more you ensure that it’s going to be consistent every single time, whereas with a manual process, three different people may do it three different ways.
Is Elon Musk reading Twitter employees’ Slack DMs? Last week, the new Chief Twit tweeted a screenshot of a DM that Twitter safety and integrity head Yoel Roth sent in May. Now that Musk has access to the company’s trove of internal messages, Twitter’s Slack has tightened up noticeably.
“A group of us were saying, ‘Oh shit, what did I ever say about Elon Musk on Slack?’” one employee told Protocol reporter Lizzy Lawrence. That said, gaining access to employees’ DMs and looking closely at them involves searching through a “massive data dump,” said Matt Haughey, a former senior writer at Slack.
Twilio “can’t seem to catch a break,” writes Protocol reporter Aisha Counts. Demand for the SaaS giant’s communication APIs caused it to grow 50% or more over the past several years. In recent months, Twilio has found itself in the same bleak place as many other companies: slowing hiring, laying off 11% of its workforce, and forecasting revenue projections that fall short of its 30% annual growth target.
In an interview with Counts, Chief Operating Officer Khozema Shipchandler owned up to the internal missteps that, along with macroeconomic conditions, led to these outcomes — and revealed how the company plans to move forward.
Anyone else having a bad case of Great Resignation whiplash? It’s hard to keep up with which tech companies are growing, shrinking, floating, or sinking. We’re here to help.
⬇️ A Twitter engineer tells the MIT Technology Review that the company’s pared-down workforce isn’t enough to keep the site running properly — and explains how he thinks it will break down.
Amid current economic uncertainty, every business is moving to a stage where we need to do more with less through improved efficiency and automations. When you move to a life cycle management solution, your organization gains the predictability that it needs all the time, and especially right now.
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
Twitter employees are sharing photos of themselves sleeping on the floor of the office so they can put in long hours. But maybe they shouldn’t? (HuffPost)
This tech worker doesn’t want to see her manager’s nail appointments in their public work calendar. (The Daily Dot)Ready to stream your next all-hands to a movie theater? Zoom and AMC are working on a moviehouse videoconferencing offering. (The Verge)
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