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Telecom-IT Layoff Tracker: COVID-19 Edition

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Laid Off

COVID-19 layoffs have rocked the channel since the pandemic started this past spring.

Salesforce, NetApp and AT&T are among companies in the channel that have shed workers since last March as part of a cost-cutting strategy and/or business transformation. Many resulted because of financial constraints due to the pandemic.

COVID-19 layoffs continue, with HPE and Dell Technologies as the latest examples. Furthermore, with no end in sight to the pandemic, companies continue to tighten their belts.

Displaced workers may have a tough time finding new opportunities. According to CompTIA, nationally, total job postings across the economy fell by more than 260,000 last month. That shows less employer recruiting activity.

Moreover, job postings for IT occupations were slightly lower, falling by 11,372 postings, but still totaled more than 200,000.

Scroll through our layoff tracker below for a recap of cuts that have occurred since last March.

AT&T layoffs

AT&T

A new round of AT&T job cuts reportedly displaced more than 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country in June.

That’s according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA). It also said AT&T planned to permanently close more than 250 AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless stores, affecting 1,300 retail jobs.

“CWA and AT&T have been working together to protect worker and customer health and safety, and to provide premium pay for essential workers,” said Chris Shelton, CWA president. “The company showed an interest in investing in its workers and its network by canceling planned stock buybacks. AT&T could help lead the country toward recovery by partnering with its workforce to build next-generation networks. Instead, the company is adding to the pain of the recession already underway.”

AT&T sent us the following statement:

“These actions align with our focus on growth areas along with lower customer demand for some legacy products and the economic impact and changed customer behaviors resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, there will be targeted, but sizable reductions in our workforce across executives, managers and union-represented employees, consistent with our previously announced transformation initiative.

"Additionally, we’ll be eliminating more non-payroll workers – the vast majority of which are outside the United States – than we are managers or union-represented employees. Reducing our workforce is a difficult decision that we don’t take lightly. For employees who are leaving as part of these changes, we’re offering severance pay and company-provided health care coverage for up to six months for eligible employees.”
ScanSource cuts

ScanSource

Layoffs arrived in July at ScanSource, which expected revenue from its most recent quarter to be down about 20% year over year. That would trigger $30 million in expense cuts, the company said.

But despite the pandemic, ScanSource expected revenue for Intelisys, the master agent it bought nearly four years ago, would be up 15% when the final quarterly numbers were in.

“Based on COVID-19 impacting our business since March, we spent a lot of time figuring out where [the decline in business] was going to impact us the most,” said Mike Baur, ScanSource's chairman and CEO. “We’ve been talking about the decline in premises-based communications for a while. So it was easy to say we had to reduce our investment there. But at the same time, we continue to invest heavily in our Intelisys business.”

The $30 million in cuts include both personnel – about 200 jobs – and other expenses. Overall, the distributor will implement the $30 million in savings over the next four quarters.

Most of the eliminated jobs are support positions – rather than customer-facing ones – in declining business areas such as the on-premises communications business — meaning hardware.
HPE cuts

HPE

HPE reportedly is cutting hundreds of sales jobs this month in a major sales reorganization.

This comes after the company cut 146 workers in Massachusetts this summer while unifying its SimpliVity and Nimble dHCI research and development units.

According to Blocks & Files, HPE now is laying off at least 500 staff. The HPE sales jobs are in the server, storage, networking and PointNext teams. The workers got termination notices starting Oct. 19.

Employees in this latest round include sales account managers, enterprise account managers and country account managers.

Blocks & Files says HPE is laying off entire external sales teams in response to COVID-19. The pandemic has reduced the need for in-person sales calls. HPE now is focusing more on inside sales.

When we reached out, an HPE spokesperson said the company is focusing its investments and realigning its workforce to “critical core businesses and areas of growth that will accelerate our strategy.”

Microsoft layoffs

Microsoft

Microsoft layoffs impacted workers across its business as it entered its new fiscal year in July.

Microsoft wouldn't disclose which workers have been impacted, their numbers or locations. A Business Insider story reported that the layoffs affected fewer than 1,000 jobs.

The company cut roles at its online news portal, MSN.com, as it shifted to an AI-powered algorithmic feed, according to the report. It also made cuts in the Microsoft Azure cloud division.

And in June, it closed all Microsoft Stores as it shifts its retail investments to digital channels.

Dell cuts

Dell Technologies

Last month we reported that Dell Technologies layoffs were coming. In a move to address its cost structure in uncertain times, the vendor notified employees that it will eliminate jobs, Bloomberg first reported.

An unnamed source said that Jeff Clarke, chief operating officer at Dell, told staff at an internal quarterly meeting that planned layoffs are coming. There was no mention of which groups or employees the cuts will impact. The vendor employs 165,000 people worldwide.

Dell Technologies responded to an inquiry about the layoffs:

“Our priority continues to be taking care of our team members, so we can take care of our customers and our business, to ensure they’re healthy and strong for the long term,” the statement reads. “We’re also evaluating our business to make sure we have the right number of team members in the right roles and in areas where customers need us most. And, we’re addressing our cost structure to make sure we’re as competitive as we should be now and for future opportunities.

"While we do this type of organizational review regularly, and while it always results in some job loss or restructuring, we recognize that there is nothing routine about today’s environment. We updated our team Monday with this information so they understand the actions occurring this week. Every decision we’ve made up to this point is to make sure we’re doing what’s best for the long-term health of our company and our team.”
Salesforce layoffs

Salesforce

Salesforce initiated layoffs in August around the world as the company faced withering criticism.

The job cuts came five months after CEO Marc Benioff said the CRM giant would not “conduct any significant layoffs over the next 90 days.” The company had closed its offices due to COVID-19 and moved to keep paying its hourly workers. On March 25, Benioff cited his longtime Ohana ethos as one key reason. Benioff has touted “Ohana,” or treating employees like family, since he want on a vacation in Hawaii in the late ‘90s.

But it appears the clock stopped ticking on that layoff moratorium, even as Salesforce on Aug. 25 reported record revenue of $5.15 billion, or $1.44 per share.
NetApp cuts

NetApp

Hundreds of NetApp employees got pink slips in August as part of a transformation to drive growth.

Silicon Angle reported NetApp cut 5% of its workforce. According to its latest annual report, NetApp’s employees numbered 10,800 as of April 24.

That put the number of jobs cut at 540.

After its first-quarter 2021 earnings call, NetApp sent the following statement:

“We continue to sharpen our focus on markets where we have both a significant presence and clear competitive advantage, specifically with our storage software and systems, and cloud data services. NetApp is realigning resources and investments to best capture these opportunities and position the company for long-term success.”

The company also said the changes are a “continuation of the transformation we are undertaking as we focus on driving growth for more customers globally by enabling their digital transformations and cloud journeys.”

Veritas cuts

Veritas

Veritas layoffs will impact more than 70 workers – including a CTO and several high-ranking engineers – at its Santa Clara, California, headquarters.

According to WARN notices filed with the California Employment Development Department, Veritas is eliminating 74 positions. The data protection provider notified the employees in July, and they would lose their jobs between August and the end of November.

Camaron Bahar is Veritas’ senior vice president and global CTO. We couldn’t reach Veritas to confirm if he is in fact the CTO getting the ax. The termination date for the CTO mentioned in the WARN notice was Aug. 21.

Also losing their jobs are numerous software engineers, developers, product managers, accountants and others.
VMware layoffs

VMware

Several VMware channel execs are among the nearly 150 employees losing their jobs as part of a regular workforce “rebalancing.”

Shawn Toldo, vice president of VMware’s Worldwide Partner Organization, is among those losing their jobs. Other VMware channel execs are partner business managers, partner sales managers and partner development specialists.

According to WARN notices filed in August with the California Employment Development Department, 148 workers are losing their jobs. That includes 86 employees who work at VMware‘s Palo Alto, California, headquarters, and 62 remote workers who report to the headquarters.

The layoffs began this quarter. VMware expects they will be permanent, but the company isn’t closing the facility.
ConnectWise cuts

ConnectWise

ConnectWise layoffs in July impacted 4% of its global workforce as a direct result of the pandemic.

Jason Magee, ConnectWise’s CEO, confirmed the layoffs happened on July 7. ConnectWise has well over 2,000 employees and 14 offices globally. It is based in Tampa, Florida.

“These decisions were not made lightly, and the impacted colleagues are receiving severance, benefits and transition services," Magee said.

ConnectWise had a 2020 business plan in place, he said. It allowed the company to align and invest for the future.

“Like many others, as a result of COVID-19 and the continued global economic uncertainty, we experienced a disruption in our ability to execute on those plans and needed to make the tough decision to pivot on our approach,” Magee said. “This decision was hard, but purposeful. It allows us to remain healthy and puts us back on track to execute against our plan, so we can continue to invest in strategic areas that will move the company forward: making our products more secure, creating a unified platform, transforming partner experience and helping our partners achieve their vision of success.”
IBM layoffs

IBM

IBM cut jobs in July at three of its locations in California.

According to WARN notices filed with the California Employment Development Department, IBM cut 103 workers at its Costa Mesa site. Among the jobs were software developers, project managers, computer operators, sales specialists, senior management support and others.

Also, 140 workers lost their jobs at two IBM facilities in San Jose. Most of the workers were software developers. Furthermore, the cuts impacted research staff members and two vice presidents.
Cloudera cuts

Cloudera

Cloudera, the enterprise data cloud company, confirmed job cuts in May in direct response to the ongoing pandemic.

The company wouldn’t say how many jobs it cut or where those employees worked. Cloudera is based in Palo Alto, California.

The company provided the following statement regarding the job cuts:

“COVID-19’s sustained disruption to the global economy has prompted Cloudera to perform a comprehensive analysis to identify ways we can adjust our organization to persevere through the crisis. Unfortunately, we made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount, effective May 5.”

According to its latest annual report, Cloudera’s full-time workforce was more than 2,700 on Jan. 31. Of those, more than 1,400 are in the United States and another 1,300 are in international locations.
FireEye cuts

FireEye

FireEye cut workers this past spring as part of a restructuring process planned long before the pandemic.

The cybersecurity vendor cut 6% of its workforce, or 204 employees. Most of the FireEye layoffs affected employees working in mature appliance-based product areas.

More than 40 employees lost their jobs at FireEye’s global headquarters in Milpitas, California. Its workforce was 3,400 at the end of 2019.

Kevin Mandia is FireEye’s CEO and board director. He announced the layoffs during the company's first-quarter 2020 earnings call. Revenues were $225 million for the quarter, a 7% year-over-year increase.

“While there is never an ideal time for this type of action, I believe it was necessary for us to take the steps now to continue to transform our business to a comprehensive security-as-a-service company,” he said.

FireEye saved $25 million through the layoffs.


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