Reasons for layoffs include reducing costs, streamlining operations, shift to AI: reports
Major firms across the world are entering 2024 with announcements that they're laying off staff to continue a trend over the past few years of retrenchments or reorganisations amid economic uncertainty.
One of the most recent announcements came from TikTok, which announced that it is letting go about 60 employees in a bid to reduce costs.
The National Public Radio reported on Monday that the affected employees were mostly from the company's sales and advertising division and included workers in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and overseas.
The social media giant attributed the layoffs to a "routine reorganisation" as part of the company's efforts to reduce costs, reported the NPR.
TikTok has around 7,000 employees in the United States, while its China-based parent firm ByteDance has over 150,000 employees across the world.
Another organisation announcing layoffs is e-commerce company Ebay, which will remove about 1,000 jobs or nine per cent of its full-time employees.
The layoffs come as the company aims to "better organise" its teams to be "more nimble, bring like-work together, and help us make decisions more quickly."
In addition to the layoffs, the e-commerce firm also said it will scale back the number of contracts in its alternate workforce over the coming months.
"These are not actions we take lightly — and we recognize the impact they will have on all eBayers," eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said in a message to employees. "We have to say goodbye to people who have made so many important contributions to the eBay community and culture, and this isn't easy."
The announcement comes nearly a year after it let go about 500 employees or about four per cent of its workforce in February 2023, according to a Bloomberg report.
Riot Games global layoffs
Video game developer and publisher Riot Games also announced this week that it is laying off about 530 roles globally, or around 11% of its workforce.
CEO Dylan Jadeja said on Monday that the layoffs will mostly impact teams outside of core development.
"I realize this is awful news to hear, and especially hard for those who will be leaving us. To all the Rioters who are being laid off, we are deeply sorry that it has come to this," Jadeja said in an announcement.
According to the CEO, the layoffs came after the company have "too many things underway," with some of its "significant investments" not paying off and costs growing unsustainable.
Jadeja said they carried out hiring slowdowns and freezes, as well as controlled costs in the past to avoid laying off employees.
"But as I've dug in with leaders across Riot, it's become clear to all of us that these changes aren't enough," the CEO said. "We're not doing this to appease shareholders or to hit some quarterly earnings number – we've made this decision because it's a necessity. It's what we need to do in order to maintain a long-term focus for players."
Across the pond, enterprise software giant SAP announced on Tuesday that it is carrying out a company-wide restructuring program that will impact 8,000 employees as the company shifts its focus to Business AI.
"The majority of the approximately 8,000 affected positions is expected to be covered by voluntary leave programs and internal re-skilling measures," SAP said in a statement. "Reflecting re-investments into strategic growth areas, SAP expects to exit 2024 at a headcount similar to current levels."
SAP has 107,602 employees as of the fourth quarter of 2023, according to its quarterly statement.
The layoffs confirm employees' fears that the retrenchments that began several years ago will extend until 2024.
In 2023, a Randstad RiseSmart report revealed that 96% of organisations have implemented "some kind of downsizing action" in the past 12 months. This year, 92% of businesses are anticipating further action.
A ResumeBuilder.com survey previously revealed that employers will be laying off staff to reduce costs, desire to increase profits, replace them with AI, or as part of their preparations for an incoming recession.