As Job Cuts Roil Silicon Valley, Workers Confront Post-Boom Reality – Yahoo Finance

(Bloomberg) — When Ryan Stevens joined Meta Platforms Inc. as a product operations manager for WhatsApp in August of 2021, he was enticed by the opportunity to help shape a messaging app used daily by 2 billion people.
Most Read from Bloomberg
Elizabeth Holmes Judge Proposes Texas Prison, Family Visits
Most Fed Officials Seek to Slow Pace of Interest-Rate Hikes Soon
From Tom Brady to Shaq, FTX’s Celebrity Promoters May Be On the Hook for Damages
China Covid Cases Jump to Record High, Topping Shanghai Outbreak
He also figured tending to a service that touches so many people would translate to a degree of job security. That belief shattered when Stevens awoke around 3 a.m. earlier this month to an email from Meta management, informing employees that layoffs were coming. After tossing and turning, Stevens, 39, received another missive at around 6 a.m.: He was one of more than 11,000 workers who had lost their jobs.
“I’m not excited to be part of such a large, immediate pool of laid-off people who are all looking for tech roles at the same time,” said Stevens, who lives in San Jose, California, with his wife and young child. “That gives me a lot of anxiety.” He believes the industry is in the midst of a cyclical reset and is open to focusing on something “a little smaller” until things pick up again.
After years of exuberant growth and hiring, layoffs have burst the bubble of Silicon Valley inviolability. As of Nov. 15, tech companies had announced 31,200 job cuts so far this month, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. The human-resources consulting firm says that’s the highest monthly total since September 2015, when a restructuring Hewlett-Packard said it would slash thousands of positions. Meta, Twitter Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. have all slashed their ranks, or said cuts are coming. On Tuesday, as this story was being prepared for publication, HP said it planned to cut as many as 6,000 positions over the next three years.
While tech workers lost their jobs during the early days of the pandemic, the subsequent boom benefited the industry. This time workers are bracing for a more enduring downturn. The accelerating layoffs have rattled a cohort who only months ago felt safe job-hopping in pursuit of better salaries and benefits. Now those who’ve been let go are anxious about re-entering a job market flooded with other recently terminated candidates even as the tech giants slow or freeze recruitment.
“People are going to hire through this, but it’s not going to be quite as much as a candidate market as it was in 2021,” said Peter Walker, head of insights at Carta, a platform that manages equity for startups.
Unlike the dot-com bust of the early 2000s, when many nascent startups collapsed, this downturn has prompted now-mature firms to tighten their belts. When Meta slashed jobs earlier this month, the first major round of layoffs in its history, the company didn’t consult managers about which employees would be let go and left the decisions to the highest-levels of leadership, according to an internal memo. As a result, the company lost some top talent, including people who had been recently promoted and had received stellar performance reviews, according to one recently terminated employee.
Despite the chaotic nature of the layoffs, the worker said he thinks Meta is still not as lean as it needs to be. “If I had to make a bet,” he said, “I think there’s more pain to come.” The company declined to comment.
The job cuts have left some workers struggling to identify safe ground. After joining Meta in January, Zoha Pajouhi, a machine-learning engineer, had a choice between working on the company’s efforts in augmented reality and virtual reality, a top priority for Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, and working on recommendation algorithms for the Facebook app. She chose the latter, figuring the company would be unlikely to make cuts to its core business if times got hard. After losing her job earlier this month, Pajouhi, who lives in Kirkland, Washington, is second-guessing her decision.
As she ramps up her job search, she’s detecting a chill in the market. An engineer in a coveted field, she’d grown accustomed to regular approaches from recruiters. Since losing her job, she’s written recruiters who reached out to her previously, but they’ve been slow to respond. Those who have written back say they have few positions available.
As the tech layoffs accelerate, “we are all in the same boat and also kind of competing with each other,” Pajouhi said.
Some workers see their layoffs as an opportunity to work on a side passion. Brandon Harper launched a startup in January 2021 called Everloom, a family history and ancestry platform, built during nights and weekends while working as a senior marketing manager at Meta. Harper considered quitting to pursue the project full-time but, as a new father, decided it was too risky. Then, earlier this month, he lost his job at Meta.
Rather than looking for a new gig, Harper, 35, decided to focus on Everloom. To help pay the bills, he applied to Funded Not Fired. The program, started recently by the venture capital firm Day One Ventures, has pledged to give 20 laid-off tech workers $100,000 apiece to pursue their startup ideas. Day One says it has received 1,000 applications so far.
“When I was laid off it was kind of like, I don’t want to say it’s like a sign, but it sort of felt like, ‘I got some time and space here. Let’s see what I can do,’” said Harper, who has a 10-month-old son and lives San Francisco. “I’m excited about this next chapter.”
Other laid-off techies plan to look for new work but are determined to take their time finding the right fit. Marc Weil, an engineering manager, lost his job at Stripe Inc. earlier this month, about 19 months after joining the digital payments firm. Having received a generous severance package, Weil, who is 35 and lives in Boulder Creek, California, plans to “spend some time trying to find the next role instead of scrambling to find the next thing that just ticks boxes.”
A worker at Amazon recently lost their job because the team they worked for was eliminated. This person, who requested anonymity to avoid jeopardizing a severance package, has 60 days to find another position at the e-commerce giant. For the time being, the employee doesn’t plan to put much effort into finding a new job with Amazon or elsewhere.
“LinkedIn is a pit of despair right now,” the person said. “Job-seeking is not what I want to be doing. I just want to embrace the headspace of not having to work at Amazon any more.”
Recruiters say they see some bright spots in the hiring market. Laura LaBine, chief talent officer at LaBine & Associates, said she has been hearing from companies searching for engineers in biotech and life sciences, as well as analytics and data science.
Technical skills remain valuable in an economic downturn, said Neil Costa, founder and CEO of HireClix, a recruitment marketing agency. He’s representing a retailer that is trying to hire software engineers for its e-commerce business, and he sees an opportunity more broadly for smaller firms to scoop up talent.
Just over a week after losing his job as director of business development at artificial intelligence startup Artica, Brandon Moore had several interviews lined up. He’s optimistic that he’ll secure employment soon, but he questions whether the scale of layoffs underway in the Valley is necessary.
“The leaders of these businesses, they’re trying to send a message to the market that they’ll do whatever it takes to control the sliding stock prices that we are seeing,” said Moore, who is 36 and lives in Seattle. “But they hired all of these people for a reason initially, and they are just going to have to rehire.”
Stevens’ search is also well underway. As he hunts for his next job, he’s focused on finding a role that’s critical to the business.
“What is something I’m going to get involved in that is going to make me feel valued and make me feel like I’m having real impact with a company?” he said. “That’s really where my focus is right now.”
–With assistance from Jo Constantz, Spencer Soper and Alex Barinka.
Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek
Elon Musk Keeps Quoting Elon Musk About His Genius
Tech Layoffs Send H-1B Visa Holders Scrambling for New Jobs
US Is Focused on Regulating Private Equity Like Never Before
Crypto’s Crash Is Helping a Few Couples Rekindle Their Relationships
Sears Limps Through What Could Be Its Final Holiday Season
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
Related Quotes
(Bloomberg) — China signaled more monetary stimulus was on the cards, including a likely cut to the reserve requirement ratio for banks, as it ramps up support for an economy under strain from surging Covid cases and more lockdowns. Most Read from BloombergElizabeth Holmes Judge Proposes Texas Prison, Family VisitsMost Fed Officials Seek to Slow Pace of Interest-Rate Hikes SoonFrom Tom Brady to Shaq, FTX’s Celebrity Promoters May Be On the Hook for DamagesChina Covid Cases Jump to Record High,
Justin Johnson can only communicate with his attorney for the time being.
Tesla investors are begging CEO Elon Musk and the board of Tesla to consider buying back shares as the company's stock price slumps to a two-year low. Tesla stock was trading at $183.20 after hours on Wednesday, and its market capitalization has plunged by almost $700 billion since its peak a year ago. Musk said during Tesla's Q3 earnings call that the company is likely to do a "meaningful buyback" next year, possibly between $5 billion and $10 billion.
Fauci says the U.S. will not see a repeat of last winter’s COVID wave — but surging infections in China leave experts fearing for the viability of its zero COVID policy.
Tesla investors want Elon Musk to do something about the company’s quickly dipping stock prices, President Joe Biden is “directly” involved with negotiations to avoid a railroad strike, and Nissan is looking to ease customers and dealers into the EV future. All that and more in The Morning Shift for Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
(Bloomberg) — In the wake of the spectacular meltdown of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire, many investors are looking for early warning signs that may have foretold the contagion that was about to unfold. One possibility? Coinbase Global Inc.’s junk bonds.Most Read from BloombergElizabeth Holmes Judge Proposes Texas Prison, Family VisitsMost Fed Officials Seek to Slow Pace of Interest-Rate Hikes SoonFrom Tom Brady to Shaq, FTX’s Celebrity Promoters May Be On the Hook for DamagesChina Covid Cas
Concerns are rising of a possible railroad strike after one of the United State's largest unions rejected a deal brokered by the Biden administration. Fears loom over the impact such a strike would have on the country's economy and chain supply. CBS News senior White House correspondent Ed O'Keefe discusses.
Tax websites like H&R Block have been sending users' sensitive financial data to Facebook, including incomes.
Thieves who broke into a southern German museum and stole hundreds of ancient gold coins got in and out in nine minutes without raising the alarm, officials said Wednesday, in a further sign that the heist was the work of organized criminals. Police have launched an international hunt for the thieves and their loot, consisting of 483 Celtic coins and a lump of unworked gold that were discovered during an archeological dig near the present-day town of Manching in 1999. Guido Limmer, the deputy head of Bavaria's State Criminal Police Office, described how at 1:17 a.m. (0017 GMT) on Tuesday cables were cut at a telecoms hub about one kilometer (less than a mile) from the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, knocking out communications networks in the region.
The 38-year-old defended her decision to welcome daughter Lucia through a surrogate on her podcast, Witches Anonymous.
This mock trade would be the grand slam that would make the Lakers an elite team and give LeBron James a shot at his fifth NBA championship.
NATO members who share a border with Ukraine should think about deploying additional air defense systems, Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said on Lithuanian television on Nov. 22, while commenting on a recent rogue missile strike in Poland.
India’s financial services industry is soaking in foreign portfolio investor (FPI) funds.
What time does the stock market close the day before Thanksgiving? Is the stock market open on Black Friday?
"We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won't hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said. Shares of Activision fell about 2% in extended trading after closing 1% higher. Microsoft, maker of the Xbox game console, announced in January the deal to buy Activision, the maker of "Call of Duty" and "Candy Crush" games, in the biggest gaming industry deal in history as global technology giants staked their claims to a virtual future.
Try this beauty-boosting. creamy drink featuring pumpkin. The post Glowing pumpkin chai adaptogenic iced latte recipe appeared first on In The Know.
Kendall Jenner and Devin Booker have split up for the second time, after a brief break up shortly after Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's wedding in June.
It's my favorite holiday travel hack.
Her dog was acting weird and wanted back inside. That’s when she saw the cougar.
After a decade of blockbuster returns, the tech industry is having a rough year. The Nasdaq Composite is down about 31% year to date, falling twice as far as the S&P 500, and there's been a steady drumbeat of layoffs from the tech sector in recent months. Among the tech companies announcing layoffs are Stripe, Twitter, Snap, Netflix, Shopify, Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META), and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN).

source

Leave a Comment