Layoffs Galore – Duolingo (DUOL), Meta (META), Citi (C), Uber (UBER), Disney (DIS), Google (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) – January 13, 2024

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Layoffs Galore – Duolingo (DUOL), Meta (META), Citi (C), Uber (UBER), Disney (DIS), Google (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) – January 13, 2024

Duolingo fired 10% of its contractors this past week. Affected staffers are no longer needed as Duolingo infuses GenAI more deeply into its company and automates more aspects of it like content creation. All else being equal, this raises the long term margin ceiling still further as DUOL delivers “more with less.” This stinks for those impacted, despite it being a great time to seek a job. I’m unfortunately expecting many more headlines like this one coming out due to GenAI’s proliferation.

Meta cut about 60 program managers within Instagram. Citi will cut 20,000 jobs over the next several quarters, which represents 10% of its workforce. Amazon fired 5% of its Audible employees (around 100 people). Its Twitch business will cut 35% of its staff (500 people). Amazon also laid off some people in the Amazon Pay and marketing departments. Disney plans to cut a “significant” number of jobs within its Pixar business. Rumors point to “significant” meaning around 20% as Disney realizes it does not need nearly as many employees in that segment as it has. GenAI’s ability to automate content creation could have a small impact here too. Uber is cutting jobs within its freight segment. Unity Software will cut 25% of its workforce across most departments. All of this comes as Google recently announced its plans to cut 30,000 jobs due to GenAI and dismissed a few hundred more people this week. Any company that needs to downsize headcount will be taking this opportunity to do it while everyone else is.

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