Layoffs persist as Google, Luno, and Spotify cut staff

Godfrey Elimian
If you missed some of the details of the major headlines that surfaced in the tech space globally this week, sit back and enjoy this read
Layoffs persist as Google, Luno, Spotify cut staff
Layoffs persist as Google, Luno, Spotify cut staff

Hello there! There is an excitement that January has finally ended because some individuals have felt like it has been a long month. This excitement is understandable, considering the joy that credit alerts provide during the month’s final days.

However, that is not the case for some people, as they have found themselves on the wrong side of the labour market in several parts of the world as job cuts persist, especially in the tech space globally. Some of these people who have suddenly found themselves in this circle were Google, Spotify, Gemini, IBM and Luno employees until recently.

This week, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, reportedly laid off about 12,000 employees from its payroll, citing harsh economic realities that have rendered their previous expansion a path that should not have been taken.

Luno, on the other hand, stated that the company went through a rough patch in 2022, hence the layoffs. Spotify workers weren’t left out, too, as the streaming giants made organizational changes.

So, you see, while there was excitement in some quarters as the month came to an end, for salary sake, other persons were already discussing severance pay agreements as they began job hunting.

If you missed the details of the major global headlines from the tech space this week, sit back and read this instalment of the global roundup, as we have put the bits together for you to catch up on.

Summary of the bulletin

  • Alphabet, Google’s parent company, lays off 12,000 employees
  • Spotify to cut about 600 jobs
  • The crypto market recorded 119 million new owners in 2022, regaining market strength.
  • Crypto exchange Luno has axed 35% of its staff.
  • Filings reveal FTX owes Apple, Netflix, Binance, Stanford, and others.

Read also: Elon Musk expected to testify in court case over 2018 tweet

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, layoff 12,000 employees

The wind of layoffs across industries seems to have persisted even when expectations were high for the year. The fact that the tech industry seems to be at the forefront of these layoffs even makes it worse for the affected young adults.

Layoffs persist as Google, Luno, Spotify cut staff
Alphabet, Google’s parent company lays off 12,000

This week, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, communicated that it plans to lay off 12,000 of its workforce amidst unfavourable economic situations. In a staff memo, Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s CEO, shared that the company had rapidly expanded its headcount in recent years “for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”

“I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.”

Sundar Pichai

The cut became the latest to happen in the big tech industry, days after Google’s rival, Microsoft, said it would lay off 10,000 employees, representing about 5% of the total employee base of over 220,000.

According to the memo, the cut would immediately affect employees in the U.S. and gradually sweep through other countries due to peculiar labour laws in those countries.

Spotify cuts about 600 jobs

Layoffs continued as Spotify Technology made some changes at the executive level and laid off some staff members to lower costs as the economic downturn deepened.

According to a note from the company’s CEO and Co-founder, Daniel Ek, Spotify’s current growth trajectory was unsustainable in the long run. The streaming giants announced that the layoff would impact around 6% of its global workforce. In its most recent earnings release, the company said 9,808 full-time employees were working for Spotify.

Layoffs persist as Google, Luno, Spotify cut staffs
Spotify lays off 600

The statement from Daniel Ek reads:

“Like many other leaders, I hoped to sustain the strong tailwinds from the pandemic and believed that our broad global business and lower risk to the impact of a slowdown in ads would insulate us,

In hindsight, I was too ambitious in investing ahead of our revenue growth. And for this reason, today, we are reducing our employee base by about 6% across the company. I take full accountability for the moves that got us here today,

“We still spend far too much time syncing on slightly different strategies, which slows us down. And in a challenging economic environment, efficiency takes on greater importance”

There are some adjustments at the helm of the company as well. Dawn Ostroff, the chief content and advertising business officer, will leave the company. Alex Norström will become the only person in charge of the business as Spotify’s new chief business officer — he used to be the chief freemium business officer.

Crypto on the rise as the market regains strength

Bitcoin has continually recouped, and the price of the major crypto asset notched to an optimistic rise to $22,953 as of yesterday, Jan 27, the glimpse of a new strength that has been missing in the market since the unfavourable crypto winter of 2022.

Bitcoin’s prolonged rally has lightened up the cheeks of crypto enthusiasts. Bloomberg reported that the token has advanced for nine days (as of a few weeks ago)— the most prolonged spell since 2020.

Crypto on the rise as market regains strength

According to a 2022 market sizing report this week, 119 million new crypto owners were added between January to December 2022. This figure represents a 39% surge, making the global owners of crypto about 425 million individuals.

Those statistics are interesting because a reduction or at least a stagnation of crypto owners would be expected due to the market downturn of 2022. Surprisingly, more crypto owners were added in the brutal bear market of last year.

A further breakdown shows that benchmark digital asset Bitcoin owners moved from 183 million in January to 219 million in December, representing a 20% increase. The largest cryptocurrency by market cap accounts for 52% of global crypto owners.

This trend signals the resilient nature of the blockchain ecosystem and the magnitude of acceptance it enjoys despite the volatility attached.

Luno axes 35% of its staff

CNBC reports that cryptocurrency exchange Luno is the latest company in the industry to make layoffs, setting out to cut 35% of its global workforce.

Luno has axes 35% of its staff

The London-based firm informed employees of the terminations at noon. London time on Wednesday in a live-streamed town hall.

“2022 has been an incredibly tough year for the broader tech industry and in particular the crypto market, Luno, unfortunately, hasn’t been immune to this turbulence, which has affected our overall growth and revenue numbers.”

the company said in a statement shared with CNBC

Luno has a total headcount of roughly 960, according to its LinkedIn profile, meaning that more than 330 jobs will be impacted.

The company maintains that customer funds are safe and the exchange’s operations will continue normally. The news comes amid a slew of crypto industry layoffs. Coinbase announced a 20% reduction in the company’s workforce earlier this month, and is also cutting by 20%, while DCG’s crypto lender Genesis slashed 30% of its staff.

Filings reveal FTX owes Apple, Netflix, Binance, others

More troubles for Sam Bankman-Fried as new court filings have revealed that FTX owes money to Apple, Binance, Coinbase, Netflix, other firms in the tech industry, hospitals, and even charity organizations. The owed companies were published on the extensive FTX creditor list that went viral during the week.

Layoffs persist as Google, Luno, Spotify cut staffs, more to follow

Lawyers for the bankrupt crypto exchange published an extensive list of creditors, including media companies, airlines, universities, charities, and others. The lawyers for the company compiled the list as part of the bankruptcy proceedings in a U.S. court in Delaware.

The list of creditors is reported to be 116 pages long and includes firms like The Wall Street Journal, Apple, and Binance and 9.7 million redacted customer names, according to Coindesk.

This portrays the extended reach of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange and the effect of its meltdown. It could pose problems for these companies listed, resulting in more layoffs depending on the nature of these debt and liquidity problems FTX faces.

The list conceals the amount owed to each creditor, but the company previously revealed that it owed approximately $3.1 billion to its top 50 creditors, according to Coindesk. Moreover, the report notes the two largest claims were for $226 million and $203 million.

That is all from us this week, see you same time next week! 

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