Layoffs and Hiring Slowdowns Hit TikTok, Apple

TikTok Names New CEO and Chief Operating Officer - Variety

A new wave of tech layoffs is rolling through the industry.

TikTok is set to implement internal reforms — and that will include layoffs, Wired reported Tuesday, citing “five people with knowledge of the process.”

TikTok had plans to hire thousands of people in the U.S., and reached a workforce in the country of about 1,500 in mid-2020, per the Wall Street Journal. The company said it had 1 billion monthly users in 2021 which has reportedly scared social media giant Meta into imitating its algorithm and structure.

But even TikTok is not immune to the layoffs and hiring freezes that have recently hit the tech industry.

Wired reported that those staff cuts would mostly be in the UK, Europe, and the U.S., and would involve nixing open roles and putting aside plans to enlarge other teams.

One source told Wired the layoffs could be as few as 100 people and the layoffs “were focused on individuals and teams that managers believed were not contributing enough to the company,” the outlet wrote.

Wired also reported that employees in Europe were told their jobs were in danger, and HR meetings were in the pipeline.

A former TikTok employee told the outlet TikTok is not unique in this scenario.

“I don’t think what’s happening here with TikTok’s layoffs is any different to what’s going on in big tech,” they said.

Even Apple is feeling the pressure — Bloomberg reported Tuesday the tech giant planned to pump the brakes slightly on spending and hiring for certain company sectors next year.

Despite the fun of using the app, TikTok has a notoriously intense working culture. One former TikTok employee told the WSJ that she bled through her pants rather than depart from back-to-back meetings to get a tampon, for example. Sources also told the outlet they dealt with the intense environment because they hope for a windfall if the parent company goes public.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Christopher Rutayohibwa

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