Apple is set to reduce the number of corporate retail employees on its development and preservation teams. Layoffs have dominated the tech space in recent months, as several tech giants have reduced the number of their employees due to the global economic crisis. However, this is Apple’s first major layoff since the COVID-19 boom.
Bloomberg reports that the iPhone maker is eliminating a limited number of positions within its corporate retail teams, citing individuals familiar with the issue. However, reports suggest that the number of jobs to be cut is yet to be determined.
Apple’s corporate retail teams are groups responsible for constructing and maintaining Apple retail stores and other facilities around the globe.
The move signals a new step for one of the world’s most industrious brands, whose contemporaries had to make a similar move at the beginning of the year. Apple regards this move as an effort to improve its services globally.
The tech giants told the affected employees that the changes were designed to improve the upkeep of stores globally and that the company would support affected workers. In previous years, it held back from laying off employees, though it had trimmed budgets and made other strategic moves.
Why Apple is reducing work size
Tim Cook, the company CEO disclosed in February that spending and recruiting strategies had to be tilted to sync with the present economic conditions and that the last option on the rung was reducing the workforce.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 bloom, the industry enjoyed tremendous success, which led to massive hiring by most tech companies. By hiring more people, the expenses of these companies grew. But since the market conditions have nosedived, these companies have had to fire people by the thousands, and in some instances, by the tens of thousands.
So Apple’s headcount increased significantly by around 20% in 2020. Although Cook did not want to see employees fired, the company had terminated a number of third-party contractors it worked with by the end of February.
Apple had 164,000 employees as of September when its last fiscal year ended. The company didn’t expand its workforce as quickly as many big tech companies during the pandemic, decreasing the need for major layoffs. Its peers, including Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, have cut tens of thousands of jobs.
However, there is a good chance that this first round of layoffs was planned for quite some time. According to a March report, Apple has decided to increase its focus on India and has planned a major reshuffling of its global management teams.
As part of this reorganization, India was treated as a separate sales region rather than being lumped in with South Asia. Furthermore, the VP in charge of this region, Hugues Asseman, was replaced by Asish Chowdhary, who had previously led the Indian division under Asseman.
With the latest move, Apple informed those employees that they would be able to reapply for a number of positions similar to their previous ones. According to the sources, those who do not accept a new position will receive up to four months’ pay.
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