Growing up, you likely heard the phrase, “If it ain’t one thing, it’s another,” or “There’s always something going on.”
The deeper you get into adulthood, the more phrases like those become a reality. And the current state of the job market is prime evidence.
Since late 2022, companies have been announcing significant layoffs that have affected thousands of people. As 2023 began, those announcements seemed to pick up, especially regarding big tech.
While the people affected by layoffs feel it the most, companies have noted the challenges and tough decisions it required to take these steps. Recently, Vice Media, Clubhouse, Paper Magazine, and Dropbox have become the latest major organizations announcing employment changes.
Big Changes In Media
According to CNN Business, Vice Media is going through some internal restructuring, leading to the company canceling one of its premier programs, “Vice News Tonight.”
“In response to the current market conditions and business realities facing [Vice Media Group] and the broader news and media industry, we are moving forward on some painful but necessary reductions, primarily across our News business,” co-chief executives Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala announced in a memo to employees.
The executives noted that the news component is essential to their business, so this is not an exit more than it is a restructuring. However, the cut will result in dozens of people losing their jobs.
Vice Media is not the only media entity facing the hard decision to lay off employees. AfroTech previously reported that BuzzFeed decided to cut its news division, impacting 15% of its workforce.
Similarly, Paper Magazine is laying off up to 30 of its full-time staff members. Adweek reports that the magazine will continue to operate but is seeking alternative methods.
While it seems like media outlets have been a part of the news they report, other tech companies are still making announcements about the future of their work. Dropbox and the social media outlet Clubhouse are two of the latest to announce layoffs.
A Shifting Tide In Big Tech
Through an internal blog post, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston announced that the organization would be letting go 500 or 16% of its employee base. He noted that a part of the difficult decision was the needed skillset around AI technology.
“In an ideal world, we’d simply shift people from one team to another. And we’ve done that wherever possible,” Houston explained in the post. “However, our next stage of growth requires a different mix of skill sets, particularly in AI and early-stage product development. We’ve been bringing in great talent in these areas over the last couple years, and we’ll need even more.”
Houston talks about an ideal world, but many of us remember a time in the world when Clubhouse had many people in a proverbial chokehold, hosting rooms around various topics with top influencers and celebrities.
Pivoting To What's Next
The once widely popular platform is also laying off full-time staff. According to Variety, Clubhouse is going through a major reboot and will lose over half its staff.
Co-founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth said a pivot in the operational strategy is necessary for the future.
“As the world has opened up post-Covid, it’s become harder for many people to find their friends on Clubhouse and to fit long conversations into their daily lives,” the founders said. “To find its role in the world, the product needs to evolve. This requires a period of change. In order to fix this, we need to reset the company, eliminate roles and take it down to a smaller, product-focused team.”
The news of more big companies laying off people is not the headline anyone would want to see. However, the evolution of the job market does not mean all hope is lost.
Many organizations are going through changes, but others are expanding and growing, and AfroTech wants to be sure you can connect and get plugged in.