OPINION: ‘Winter is coming’: Silicon Valley workers on the brink of a rude awakening as potential Big Tech layoffs loom


FACEBOOK co-founder Mark Zuckerberg poses a question during the CEO Summit. – Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Tech workers in Silicon Valley have experienced unprecedented growth over the past decade. But now things are about to change as Big Tech giants take the industry in a different direction — one that threatens the jobs of a substantial number of workers.

Business Insider sheds light on the impending shift:

“The days of Big Tech excess are coming to an end,” Insider’s Samantha Delouya and Kali Hays wrote. “Amid a streak of disappointing financial results, inflation, and international turmoil leading to battered tech stocks, companies like Meta, Google, and Microsoft are looking to rein in runaway costs.”

“Not only have Big Tech employers attracted workers for their skill sets but they’ve also offered impressive salaries and company perks such as employee travel incentives,” they wrote.

But with the shifts, perks could be cut and layoffs could also become a strong possibility in the coming months. “It’s a first for many tech workers, an entire generation of whom have known nothing but non-stop growth and a bull market,” the writers explained.

They added, “To these employees, recent changes are ‘straight up heresy,’ as Bill Gurley, a veteran venture capitalist, put it in June.”

During this rate-induced boom, competition for employees created a Disney-esque set of experiences/expectations in high tech companies, Gurley explained.

Brad Gerstner, CEO of Altimeter Capital, recently penned an open letter to the Facebook and Instagram parent company, Meta, that offers insight into the newly proposed perspective of Big Tech companies.

“It is a poorly kept secret in Silicon Valley that companies ranging from Google to Meta to Twitter to Uber could achieve similar levels of revenue with far fewer people,” Gerstner wrote, asking Meta to consider cutting its costs. “I would take it a step further and argue that these incredible companies would run even better and more efficiently without the layers and lethargy that comes with this extreme rate of employee expansion.”

In addition to facing the fear of losing millennial-style employee perks, tech analyst Dan Ives is predicting a much bigger problem. “Silicon Valley is seeing layoffs across the board for the first time since 2008,” he said. “Winter is coming to the tech world.”

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