Financial TimesFinancial Times

Who to fire? How the biggest companies plan mass layoffs

By Brooke Masters

03 Mar 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

As the threat of a possible recession looms, U.S. companies have been cutting jobs left and right. But management experts caution that there are better and worse ways to do layoffs.

Job cuts are very much on corporate minds. A first round of swingeing culls hit the technology sector in November. US companies including Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Amazon followed by laying off nearly 103,000 people in January, the highest monthly total since the height of the pandemic.

Now the misery is spreading, as executives hunker down ahead of a possible recession. Tech groups are retrenching further after overestimating how much the pandemic changed customer habits. Financial companies and consultants are dealing with choppy markets and reduced deal flow. Meanwhile, carmakers are having to adjust to rising demand for electric vehicles.

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