Slack Reduces Workforce as Part of Salesforce Cuts

Layoff Box

Team communications platform Slack will conduct layoffs as a part of parent Salesforce’s reduction in force. Salesforce acquired Slack in 2020 for some $27.7 billion, positioning the merger as creating an “operating system for the new way to work.”

Earlier this week, Salesforce said it will lay off 10% of its workforce and cut back on office space. According to The Wall Street Journal, the cutbacks come as a number of the company’s customers take a more cautious approach to spending. The Journal noted that an increasing number of software companies are facing similar conditions.

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Salesforce had roughly 80,000 employees at the end of October, according to Dice. The layoffs will impact approximately 8,000 people, or 10% of the workforce.

In a letter to employees, Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff said the company hired too aggressively as business grew during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. (“I take responsibility for that,” the Journal quoted him as saying.)  

Slack’s not the only Salesforce unit to announce cutbacks. The company’s data analytics subsidiary, Tableau, also announced layoffs this week, said media reports.

Covid-Induced Cutbacks

Salesforce is just the latest technology provider to face the consequences of aggressive hiring when businesses pivoted to remote work arrangements in 2020. As business conditions slowed, companies found themselves with a surfeit of workers throughout the business.

Recently, Amazon expanded the number of corporate and technology workers it will lay off from 10,000 to 18,000. The New York Times said Amazon more than doubled its workforce as more customers turned to online services during the pandemic. 

The cuts equal about 6% of Amazon’s roughly 300,000-person corporate workforce, said Reuters. They “represent a swift turn for a retailer that recently doubled its base pay ceiling to compete more aggressively for talent,” the news service said.

Among HR technology companies, the website Layoffs.fyi lists a relatively small number of layoffs. Among the companies included on the site are Oracle, Built In and Gem.

Overall, tech companies eliminated more than 150,000 jobs during 2022, the Journal said.

Image: iStock

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