The latest San Francisco layoff-palooza shoe to drop is a big one, as towering software company Salesforce is reportedly set to lay off thousands, in job cuts that actually already started Monday.
It’s a sign of the likely grim times to come that Friday’s Twitter layoff of 3,700 employees would be, a week later, only the third or fourth most significant layoff of the week. There’s a seemingly much larger headcount reduction coming to Facebook, and in a very severe blow to downtown San Francisco, or at least its reputation and prestige, Protocol reports that Salesforce will be laying off a couple thousand employees in a process that apparently already started on Monday.
Salesforce plans for major layoffshttps://t.co/0BDXIPEHAO— Joseph (@JoePWilliams31) November 8, 2022
“Salesforce is preparing for a major round of layoffs that could affect as many as 2,500 workers across the software vendor,” according to Protocol. “The company plans to lay off a large number of individuals, roughly 2,000 people or more, for performance’ issues, according to both an industry source and a former employee.” The site adds that the layoffs are “likely to happen before the Thanksgiving holiday.” But a source tells the site that the layoffs are happening in groups, with several hundred employees being told they are being placed on 30-day performance reviews, and might be let go after that review concludes. Those are "likely... workers who fall under a protected group like individuals with disabilities," Protocol says, via the source.
Salesforce cut hundreds of employees on Monday https://t.co/BiFRP2hdG1— CNBC (@CNBC) November 8, 2022
CNBC notes that the layoffs already started Monday, in a report that says “Salesforce let go of fewer than 1,000 people Monday.”
A person familiar the company's plans said no further cuts were expected, despite Protocol reporting potential layoffs of 2,000-2,500 https://t.co/0cYt4DXAx0— Roland Li (@rolandlisf) November 8, 2022
We should note that there is some pushback to this report, with the Chronicle’s Roland Li reporting “A person familiar [with] the company's plans said no further cuts were expected.”
On one hand, Salesforce already had a much smaller round of layoffs (90-ish) earlier this year, so this is not unprecedented. On the other hand, if Salesforce is going to curiously claim that thousands of employees had “performance” issues, that could be a dodge on paying them severance.
There will be some inevitable moaning about how this hurts downtown SF, but most of these layoffs are likely to hit elsewhere geographically. According to an SF Standard report in March, only about 10,600 of Salesforce’s global workforce of 74,000 works in San Francisco.
And if you want to get deep into the reeds, Protocol has the details of some active investor drama that may or may not be driving these layoffs.
This one would cut deeper than most, because Salesforce is a blue-chip SF tech company, probably the blue-chip SF tech company, They’re San Francisco’s largest private employer (and would still be, even after these layoffs), and they’re traditionally more concerned with profitability than jumping on the latest Web3 bandwagon like blockchain, crypto, or whatever the vaporware-of-the-week is. Unlike some tech companies, there are adults in the room at Salesforce.
But by Thanksgiving, there may fewer of those adults in the room,
Related: Lyft and Stripe Both Lay Off Hundreds of Employees, Citing Economy [SFist]
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