Apple Inc. has reportedly laid off contract-based recruiters as part of a push to slow hiring and spending.

Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, referencing people with knowledge of the matter, claims that Apple has laid off around 100 recruiters in its offices in Texas, Singapore and other locations due to changes in the company’s business needs. Full-time recruiters have not been affected by the layoffs.

Apple was first rumored to be scaling back hiring as part of a move to slow spending in July. It was noted at the time that the plans to slow hiring were not expected to affect Apple’s product rollout plans for the rest of the year and into 2023. The decision to lay off contract recruiters would appear to be the first step in Apple implementing this plan.

Foreshadowing possible layoffs, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in an investor call after Apple released its earnings on July 28 that the company would be more “deliberate” in its spending while continuing to invest in other areas.

“We believe in investing through the downturn,” Cook said. “And so we’ll continue to hire people and invest in areas, but we are being more deliberate in doing so in recognition of the realities of the environment.”

Gurman notes that Apple laying off staff – be it contract recruiters, is an unusual move by the company. Apple employs over 150,000 people globally and has, for many years, continued to grow its headcount.

Apple’s decision to reduce its headcount also comes amid broader global economic problems and the U.S. experiencing two straight quarters of negative growth, meeting the classical definition of a recession. In its last earnings report, Apple reported its slowest growth in years, a figure of 8% versus 36% in the same quarter of 2021. Apple Chief Financial officer Luca Maestri admitted that the company faced a “challenging operating environment.”

The report comes after Google LLC and Microsoft Corp. have both been reported to be preparing for layoffs. Google has reportedly suspended hiring new employees and allegedly told some existing employees to “shape up or shape off” if expectations are not met.

Microsoft was reportedly “eliminating many open jobs” across multiple business units on July 21. The affected business units include Microsoft’s Azure public cloud division and its cybersecurity software group.

Other big tech companies are also reportedly freezing hiring initiatives and looking to lay off staff. It was also reported in July that Facebook Inc. is expected to lay off around 10% of staff, although Facebook denied the reports.

Image: Apple

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