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The December Holidays are almost upon us with Hannukah starting on the 18th, Kwanza on the 26th, and of course, we are just two weeks away from Christmas. In my last article, I asked industry executives what they were thankful for as we entered the Thanksgiving weekend. Everyone was upbeat about their company, the workplace, serving customers, and being blessed to work in the wireless communications industry.
Black Friday came with the usual blockbuster sales offers and low prices for phones and services with expanded data packages from the Big Three carriers and MVNOs. Everything pointed to a joyous and prosperous Holiday Season until the news hit that many companies were initiating layoffs. The Tech sector was particularly hit hard by companies such as Twitter, Meta, Amazon, HP, and many others.
If you know people at these firms, you know that they are more than just a number. Affected employees have families, mortgages, college expenses, etc. and as prices continue to rise and we head towards a possible recession, here are the Top Ten Tech companies that have announced layoffs in the past few months:
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- On Nov. 9, Mark Zuckerberg told employees that Meta would be reducing its staff by approximately 13%. That amounts to more than 11,000 employees, and the company will be extending its hiring freeze through next year's first quarter.2
- Peleton has had three separate rounds of layoffs this year, the first on Feb. 8, followed by another in July, another on Aug. 12, and the most recent on Oct. 6. They totaled more than 4,600 employees.
- On Nov. 4, a week after Elon Musk completed his purchase of Twitter, the social networking company said it would cut 50% of its staff or 3,700 people.
- On Oct. 26, Seagate Technology announced a restructuring plan that would include reducing its workforce by about 8%, or 3,000 employees.
- Carvana let go of 12% of its workforce, or 2,500 people, on May 10.
- GoPuff, a consumer goods and food delivery company, had four rounds of layoffs this year. The first two came on Jan. 26 and March 29 and accounted for 100 and 450 employees, respectively. The largest, at 1,500 employees, took place on July 12, followed by another 250 on Oct. 19.
- Snap let go of 20% of its workforce on Aug. 31, cutting 1,280 employees.
- Cryptocurrency exchange platform operator Coinbase laid off 18% of its staff, or 1,100 people, on June 14.
- Stripe, a financial services, and software-as-a-service company reduced its workforce twice this year. The first was minor, at just 50 people on Aug. 19, whereas it laid off 14% of its staff, or 1,000 people, on Nov. 3.
- Microsoft has made several job cuts this year, though the exact numbers are difficult to track. On July 12, per CNBC, the technology corporation announced it would be laying off less than 1% of its workforce. On Oct. 17, it cut 1,000 jobs, according to Axios
WIRELESS ADVOCATES SHUTS DOWN AND LEAVES COSTCO
But the one that surprised (or shocked ) our industry happened earlier this week with Wireless Advocate’s conference call with employees telling them that the company had essentially shut down and all 1800 employees were effectively terminated. As reported by the National Wireless Independent Dealer Association (NWIDA) on December 5th,
“Earlier today – and with no notice – Wireless Advocates shut down and terminated between 1500-2000 employees.
Primarily inside Costco Warehouse Clubs (and to a lesser extent on Military Bases), Wireless Advocates was the “store within a store” for wireless sales and service.
All the kiosks/locations were shuttered, meaning (at least for now) they were not sold to another company. There are rumors that Costco may have terminated their agreement.
According to their corporate LinkedIn page, Wireless Advocates had locations in nearly 700 locations and employed over 1800 people. Their website and Facebook page have already been taken down.” Wireless Advocates Shuts Down With No Notice - NWIDA
Wireless Advocates CEO Dan Brettler said on a call posted to YouTube.
"This morning I need to share the unhappy news that Wireless Advocates is permanently closing, effective immediately,"
In addition to supply chain issues and a lack of consumer interest in 5G, two factors behind the sudden closure, Brettler said that Wireless Advocates also suffered after canceling its contract with military bases and losing its contract with Costco, which was moving in a "different direction."
"When you combine our exit from military and Costco's change in business model, it left us, unfortunately, with no other choice," Brettler explained.
On Reddit, an r/Costco moderator and multiple employees told a different story, alleging that Wireless Advocates ended its relationship with Costco.
Adam Wolf, President of NWIDA published,
“We at NWIDA, as well as companies like AT&T, LYCA, Boost, and some of the larger dealers have reached out on Social Media - and directly to us - to let folks who were terminated from Wireless Advocates that they are hiring.
We've started to collect resumes and created a new email distribution list. We're sending out resumes every day to those companies who are hiring. It's the definition of the Holiday spirit, and we're glad to help where we can.”
Anyone who needs to send a resume or let people know that they are hiring can send their resume or company to [email protected] THANK YOU, ADAM!
Are You Affected? Get Onto Social Media Immediately!
I looked on LinkedIn today and no less than twenty of our wireless associates and friends have posted that they are looking to hire and to contact them directly. I encourage any displaced employee to both send your information to NWIDA as well as look at LinkedIn, Facebook, or whatever platform you use to make contacts.
We have all been laid off or found ourselves unemployed at some point in our careers; NOW is the time to put your best foot forward and take advantage of the generosity that your fellow wireless industry people are offering.
It has been said many times that December is the best month to get hired. Budgets for the new year are set and employers want to have people start and hit the ground on January 2nd! Don’t wait until January to start your job search.
Thank You Thank You Thank you to the countless companies and individuals that are trying to help all displaced workers, especially as the Holiday Season is upon us. I couldn’t be prouder, or Thankful as we said last time, of the industry that we all are in for providing such a quick and meaningful outreach. Good Luck everyone and together, we will continue to make the wireless mobility industry great!