Everyone fires, except Apple: here are the secrets of the bitten apple.
The WSJ reconstructs the reasons for the exceptional situation of Apple, the only Big Tech that could withstand this economic storm without mass layoffs.
In recent days we have witnessed (hardly holding back the concern) the mass layoffs announced by almost every single tech company. It an all a happy omen because it obviously betrays the strong concerns of the companies in question. That is to say, the idea that the current unfavorable economic climate is not only not transitory, but also risks becoming even worse within a few months, opening the door to yet another global recession.
Amazon has fired over 18,000 people. Google, which seemed to be limited to freezing new hires, finally announced that it had to lay off 12,000 workers. Microsoft in turn killed another 10,000, drawing moreover from some divisions dear to the readers of this site, including 343 Industries , the Halo development studio. Let’s not even talk about Twitter: well before the others, it kicked out over 75% of its employees.
Virtually every tech company has heralded carnage, with one exception: Apple.
Apple is the only major tech company to have held out so far. Not only have its stock market performances been less disastrous than those of its competitors, but at the moment it is also the only one that has not foreseen a major corporate restructuring operation. In short, no layoffs (we underlined the ‘for now’ twice).
In a long article, the Wall Street Journal has revealed the secrets of the bitten apple, explaining why Apple is proving to be more resilient than all the rest of Big Tech.
From 2019 to 2022, Apple increased its workforce by 20%. An important figure, but decidedly subdued compared to that of other companies, which riding the period of strong growth have instead decided to hire a disproportionate number of new employees and managers. A too rapid and ill-reasoned growth, which has produced the massacres of recent days. Now that the economic climate has changed, Microsoft and Amazon no longer need all those employees and here is where the mass layoffs are served.
Apple in recent years has also chosen to give employees ample freedom (despite the temptation, repudiated by workers, to impose a form of hybrid work), encouraging teleworking also through the provision of bonuses to purchase high quality hardware (laptop, webcams etc.). In the same period, the other companies continued to spend and spread, offering employees very expensive campus services and canteens. We let you guess which of the two solutions has lower costs.
The most important data, which cannot be escaped, however, is probably another: Apple’s main businesses continue to do very well. Revenues from services and digital purchases have been growing strongly for years, while hardware products have suffered the impact of the difficult geopolitical situation that has arisen in the last three years in a negligible way (compared to their competitors). Apple continues to hold 20% market share of the smartphone market and the decline in shipments has been smaller than that of other companies.
Hence the exceptional nature of Apple’s situation, which despite everything could also withstand this economic storm without having to resort to those draconian choices that the competition was forced to make instead.