Hallmark, Google, Amazon announce fresh round of layoffs

Tech industry welcomes 2024 with layoffs. Hallmark Media sees executive layoffs, Twitch cuts 500 jobs (35% of staff), and Amazon initiates mass job reductions at Prime Video, MGM Studios, and Twitch. Google also trims roles in its hardware and engineering teams as part of cost-cutting measures.

Hallmark, Google, Amazon announce fresh round of layoffs (Image Copyright: slashinsider.com)
Image Copyright: slashinsider.com

Hallmark Media Restructures, Announces Layoffs in Executive Roles

In a recent development, Hallmark Media, renowned for its holiday movies, has undergone a restructuring process leading to significant layoffs in its executive suites. Key executives impacted by the restructuring include Chief Marketing Officer Lara Richardson, Chief People Officer Pamela Wolfe, EVP Research Strategy Robin Thomas, and Head of Distribution Judi Lopez. Despite being referred to as “major cutbacks,” it is clarified that only these four positions have been eliminated.

A spokesperson from Hallmark Media stated, “Organizational changes were announced internally today representing a new, more streamlined structure. Some executive leadership roles were eliminated, while new and expanded roles were created to forge new opportunities, strengthening our focus on our core and building new capabilities for our consumers and viewers.”

The spokesperson emphasized the company’s commitment to creating compelling content, citing Hallmark Channel’s recent achievement as the #1 most-viewed cable entertainment network among key demographics for the entire 2023 year, demonstrating a clear pathway for continued success.

Twitch Faces Workforce Reduction: 35% Staff Cut Amidst Challenges

Twitch, the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform, is undergoing another round of layoffs, with a substantial 35% reduction in its workforce, affecting approximately 500 employees. CEO Dan Clancy expressed disappointment over the news being leaked before the official announcement to staff. He acknowledged that despite paying out over $1 billion to streamers last year, the company’s current size does not align with its growth.

In a blog post, Clancy highlighted the company’s efforts to build a more sustainable business over the past year. However, it became evident that the organization is still larger than necessary given its current scale and conservative growth predictions. Twitch faces challenges in turning a profit, with its pivot to prioritize ad revenue not yielding the expected results. The platform’s popularity has surged, but it struggles to match profitability, necessitating workforce reductions.

Amazon Initiates Layoffs Across Multiple Divisions

In a broader move, Amazon is making workforce reductions across several of its divisions, impacting Prime Video, MGM Studios, and Twitch. The Information broke the news of the layoffs, revealing that several hundred employees are affected. Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of the division, announced the cutbacks, emphasizing the company’s focus on initiatives that deliver the most impact while reducing investments in certain areas.

The layoffs follow a series of workforce reductions at Amazon, including hundreds of jobs in the Alexa division, over 180 roles in the gaming sector, and thousands across various business units. The company aims to prioritize strategic initiatives and investments in content and product initiatives that position the business for a stronger future.

Google Cuts Job in Hardware, Voice Assistance, and Engineering Teams

Google has laid off hundreds of employees across its hardware, voice assistance, and engineering teams as part of cost-cutting measures. The company states that these organizational changes align with responsible investment in its core priorities and significant opportunities. The job cuts primarily impact the augmented reality hardware team, reflecting Google’s commitment to streamline operations.

The move follows Google’s earlier announcement about eliminating a few hundred roles, with a focus on cost reduction. The Alphabet Workers Union expressed discontent, describing the job cuts as “another round of needless layoffs.” The union advocates for job security and criticizes the company’s decision to lay off employees despite its considerable financial success.

Tech Industry Layoffs Trend Continues: Meta, Spotify, and Microsoft in the Mix

The technology industry continues to witness a trend of layoffs across major players. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has slashed more than 20,000 jobs in the past year, aiming to reassure investors. In a parallel development, Spotify announced a 17% reduction in its global workforce in December 2023, marking its third round of layoffs in 2023 to enhance cost-efficiency.

Amazon’s recent layoffs in its Prime Video and studios units, along with the decision to cut around 500 Twitch employees, contribute to the growing list of job reductions in the tech sector. Microsoft, in its rivalry with Google, has introduced AI-focused initiatives, including the Copilot feature, intensifying the competition between the two industry giants.

As the tech landscape undergoes transformations and companies prioritize strategic initiatives, workforce reductions become a recurring theme, sparking discussions about the industry’s evolving dynamics and the impact on employees.

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Source(s): Deadline; Techcrunch; AP News

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