When Elon Musk bought Twitter in the fall of 2022 for 44 billion dollars (41.1 billion euros, at current prices), he paid the social network at least twice as much. The company was losing momentum and its new boss was accelerating its publicity haemorrhage by its libertarian, even conspiratorial positions. He then showed himself defiant towards his employees, deemed too left-wing and incapable of innovating for years. So he fired four out of five.
In the spring of 2023, Twitter only employed 1,500 people, down from 8,000 when it was taken over. Elon Musk admitted that he had had a heavy hand. “Desperate situations, desperate measures. There’s no question that some of the people we fired probably shouldn’t have been, explained the billionaire on the American channel CNBC, on May 16. I think we absolutely need to hire people, and, if they’re not too mad at us, probably rehire some of the people who were laid off. »
Thus, Twitter has become the symbol of the brutal purge conducted in the high-tech sector in the United States, but also in the world. An impressive mass of job cuts carried out in about ten months, an unprecedented global “charrette” for this sector.
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According to layoffs.fyi website, which refers by compiling layoff announcements in the high-tech industry, 1,057 companies laid off 164,709 employees during the year 2022. The phenomenon accelerated in 2023. End of May , the 200,000 job loss mark was crossed in just five months. As of June 8, still according to this source, 749 companies had announced the elimination of 202,299 jobs for this year.
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How did we arrive at this level of payroll reduction? This evolution of the workforce is the reflection of a bubble born with the Covid-19. When the pandemic broke out in early 2020, panic briefly spread to a stalled economy. Companies that are victims of confinement are laying off workers, such as Airbnb, Uber or Booking.
Over 80,000 jobs were lost that year. However, very quickly, the confined world is turning into a digital world, with great enthusiasm for the Zoom application and other videoconferencing tools. The consumer – whether American, European or Asian – stays at home, but businesses come to them.
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Source: Le Monde