It's now Tuesday, and you know what that means? It's not Monday anymore, and that is something to celebrate. This is Matt Weinberger in San Francisco, filling in once again for Jordan Erb.
The tech industry was already reeling from the recent cuts at companies like Meta, Twitter, and Salesforce. This week, things got worse, as reports indicate that Amazon is planning job cuts of some 10,000 people, largely in its retail, devices, and human resources divisions. A layoff of that size would only represent about 1% of Amazon's global workforce, and 3% of its corporate employees.
It's a good reminder that as bad as things have been in tech, there's still room for things to get worse. Indeed, as Insider reported last week, Mark Zuckerberg isn't ruling out the possibility of more layoffs at Meta.
On that cheery note, let's get into the news.
1. Amazon job cuts are coming. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has made cost-cutting a major priority of his tenure as the retail giant's top executive, and now the retailer is said to be preparing for the largest layoff in its history.
- Back in October, Insider's Katherine Long reported that Amazon was looking to reduce headcount, setting the stage for this week's news. Earlier this month, Insider reported on several smaller cuts at the company, including at its Amp live-radio service and the team that makes tutorials for its Amazon Web Services cloud.
- I asked Insider's Eugene Kim, chief tech correspondent, for his thoughts on the cuts. Eugene notes that Jassy's 16-month tenure as Amazon's chief executive has been particularly tumultous, especially as retail spending slows amid a larger economic downturn. Jassy has been particularly keen to cut expensive so-called "moonshots," he says.
- Eugene says the "unprecedented" size and scope of the cuts reflect his laser-focus on cost cutting. And the fact that the layoffs are said to largely affect the devices division raise an uncomfortable question for Amazon, he says: Is it time to call the Alexa voice assistant a failure?
2. Jeff Bezos plans to give away his fortune. Speaking of Amazon, Jeff Bezos announced plans on Monday to give away the majority of his $124 billion to charitable causes. He says his top priorities will be funding initiatives related to the climate crisis and supporting people that unify humanity.
3. The internal Zuckerberg backlash has begun. Insider reports that employees at Meta are getting fed up with Mark Zuckerberg, exacerbated by last week's sweeping layoff of some 11,000 people. Those who remain at the company say that there's not a lot of clarity on who has left the company, leaving employees scrambling to figure out which teams and projects have been canned. Read more on the mood inside Meta here.
4. Apple could build its own metaverse. Apple job postings indicate that when the company finally drops its long-awaited augmented-slash-virtual reality headset, it could come alongside a full-on virtual world out of the box. Meta has tried something similar with its Horizon Worlds for its Oculus headsets, to what could charitably be called a mixed reception.
5. The FTX bust is splashing cold water on crypto startups. Insider's April Joyner reports that venture capitalists relied on so-called "safe bets" like FTX to break into the cryptocurrency industry. But with FTX imploding in front of our very eyes, it's more clear than ever that there's not always a port in a storm — and expect investment in the market to cool off significantly. Read more on the venture capital crypto reckoning here.
6. Earning $244,000 as a tech freelancer. The tech titans are known for paying the big bucks, but that's not the only way to make it in tech. Insider spoke with a freelancer who made $244,000 in 2021 taking on contract gigs for hire.
7. Cheaters everywhere. One traditional way to get ahead in your tech career is to pass a certification exam that shows you have deep technical chops in areas of specialty like Microsoft's Azure cloud or Cisco's networking switches. But Insider's Rob Price reports on a cheating epidemic in the world of tech certifications, with test answers only a Google search away and no way to tell who did the homework and who's a fraudster. Read more here.
8. Twitter's $400 lunches? Elon Musk said that Twitter spent $13 million on food service at its offices last year, which worked out to about $400 per person, per meal because most employees were working from home. A former employee, meanwhile, says that the average per-person spend on food was more like $20-25 per meal.
Odds and Ends:
9. The $2 million electric supercar. Insider's Tim Levin got behind the wheel of the Pininfarina Battista — a $2 million, 1900-horsepower electric supercar. Levin says the acceleration must be seen to be believed. If you want one, though, act fast: They're only making 150.
10. If Instagram likes are getting your anxiety up, Insider has the complete guide on how to hide them for your own posts or others.
What we're watching today:
- The Forbes Future of Work summit will be held today, both in-person in New York City and virtually. Speakers incude Thrive Capital CEO Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Chenault, the former American Express CEO and current chairman of venture capital firm General Catalyst.
- CNBC is holding its virtual Technology Executive Committee summit on Tuesday. Executives like UiPath CEO Robert Enslin and Meta VP of Reality Labs partnerships Ash Jhaveri will speak alongside figures including former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
- Fortune is kicking off its Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference in San Diego, California on Tuesday. Tech leaders like Ancestry CEO Deb Liu and Scale AI CEO Lucy Guo will appear on stage.