Cost-cutting measures at Apple HQ are on the brink, as the company warns its corporate retail employees to reapply for new roles, or be let go.
The news, announced to Apple employees via video conference, signals another round of tech layoffs, despite the company's best efforts to avoid it.
As stocks continue to tumble, Apple insists that the move is to improve the support of its stores, but staff are already referring to the announcement as a layoff. Given the turbulence in the industry, it wouldn't be the first tech giant to try to disguise it.
Apple Employees Are Either In or Out
According to Bloomberg, Apple's corporate retail division have until Friday to reapply for jobs within the company, or be let go. The decision was described as an ‘org change' to help improve the support of Apple's retail stores.
While it's unclear how many roles will be affected, the decision will reportedly impact the team responsible for the construction and maintenance of Apple's retail store in the US, Europe and Asia.
Despite forecasts, Apple's revenue has steadily declined in the last year, with Fortune reporting a 5% drop in revenue over the holiday quarter. With the demand for Macs and wearables waning, Apple has been forced to implement various cost-cutting measures to ensure the company is able to stay economically viable. The latest news, however, suggests that those moves might not have been as successful as they'd hoped.
Cost-Cutting Measures On the Brink
Until now, Apple have been able to retain the majority of its staff by being ‘more prudent an thoughtful when it comes to spending'. In January, CEO Tim Cook took a 40% pay cut, and the company extended its hiring freeze, paused promotions and bonuses.
The move, which was supposed to be temporary, might signal that the company is facing more challenges that they'd anticipated.
Other measures to cut costs include all travel budgets being signed off by the company's senior vice president. And, those who choose not to adhere to the company's return-to-office mandate, at risk of termination.
Are More Tech Layoffs Inevitable?
Despite Apple's efforts to their retain staff, layoffs are still very much on the cards, with its organizational changes proving that staff cuts may just be inevitable. In the last few months, Microsoft, Google, Meta have laid off thousands of employees, with reports showing the tech industry to be responsible for more than 100,000 laid off employees in 2023 alone – It's no surprise that employee trust in the tech industry is broken.
Return-to-office mandates may be disguised as a move to improve productivity, staff sentiment suggests it may just be a way to push more employees out, given the resistance to changing work models.
Still, layoffs don't appear to be going anywhere. As the industry continues to battle inflation and the aftermath of the pandemic boom – unless a company is investing in web conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom or implementing more flexible working models, employees in want of more flexibility and job security may need to look elsewhere.