Salesforce cuts headcount as growth slows after lockdowns • The Register

Salesforce is laying off hundreds of employees as COVID-19-related hiring boom slows.

The SaaS CRM giant has been one of the beneficiaries of the remote and home working trend — driven in part by pandemic-related lockdowns — and in 2020 CEO Marc Benioff said it will hire 12,000 or more people in the following year.

Most of the world has eased or completely lifted lockdowns on the movement of its people, although China still enacts them, including in its Guangzhou manufacturing district.

However, the hiring wave appears to have ended as numerous reports suggest that Salesforce is laying off hundreds of employees due to challenges in its markets and contracting.

“Our sales performance process encourages accountability. Unfortunately, this may result in some leaving and we are supporting them in their transition,” a Salesforce spokesman said in a statement to media.

The number represents less than 1 percent of the tech giant’s 78,600 employees, which have nearly tripled in the past five years.

But there are mixed messages from Salesforce. Reports surfaced in September that 2,500 staff would be hired in India, taking the workforce on the subcontinent to 10,000 from 2,500 in April 2020.

Following second-quarter results in June, CFO Amy Weaver told investors that Salesforce is taking a cautious approach to hiring amid the uncertain economic environment. Benioff said deals took longer to close and were scrutinized at a higher level.

The layoffs at Salesforce come as the entire tech industry looks to downsize. Meta, the owner of social media outfits Facebook and Instagram, is taking a 13 percent screendown, a move that will result in “11,000 talented employees leaving,” according to a statement by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Twitter is laying off around half its workforce after being taken over by Elon Musk, who is also CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is laying off about 1,000 employees, less than 1 percent of its workforce. The ride-hail app Lyft and the payment service Stripe are also geared towards teenage layoffs as a percentage.

Elsewhere, Google was poised to slow down hiring based on Q3 results. The search and cloud giant has hired 51,000 new heads since the beginning of 2020, and investors want to see a return on that investment. ® Salesforce cuts headcount as growth slows after lockdowns • The Register

Rick Schindler

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