The Beginning of the ‘Great Layoff’?


Considering ‘jumping ship’ based on hearsays and not-so-good advice? You might want to think again. Just this week, we’ve seen a couple of news on layoff(s) across certain big-name companies.

1. Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk seemed to be moving ahead with his plan to axe around 10% of his total workers at home and abroad. His HR executives were also instructed to “pause all hiring worldwide”. He had communicated with his employees through email that he found the company to be “overstaffed in many areas”.

As of the end of 2021, Tesla employs a total of 100,000 employees. A 10% cut translates to 10,000 workers laid off. Tesla’s Singapore country manager, Christopher Bousigues was one of the most prominent amongst those laid off. Musk also warned employees that they must return to the office or risk termination, denying his employees flexible work arrangements.

2. Shopee

Southeast Asian e-commerce giant Shopee had announced that it will lay off some workers in its ShopeeFood and ShopeePay teams in the region. Other countries affected include Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Spain. CEO Chris Feng cited ‘elevated uncertainty’ in the broader economy and believe it was ‘prudent to make certain difficult and important adjustments’ to enhance its operational efficiency and focus its resources. This comes after Shopee exited the French market in March 2022.

3., BlockFi & Gemini Trust

Two big names in cryptocurrency had announced job cuts as well, with Crypto lending platform BlockFi cutting its headcount by 20%, while digital currency exchange announced a 5% cut to its headcount. Notably, is headquartered in Singapore. Its CEO, Kris Marszalek cited ‘difficult and necessary decisions’ to optimise for ‘profitability and sustainable growth’ amidst this market downturn. Gemini Trust, a crypto exchange company announced earlier in June 2022 that it had plans to cut 10% of its total workforce too.

A common theme we see across these companies is that the economy is not doing well, and companies are compelled to cut headcount or freeze hiring to ‘lay low’ during this economic downturn. With these ‘big-name’ companies taking lead, will others likely follow suit, starting a great wave of layoffs instead of the ‘Great Resignation’ observed by human resource experts? You might just want to hold that thought of tendering in your notice period to your boss…

About Author

A young Singaporean concerned about issues workers face. As humans, we spend a third of our lives sleeping and recharging, and another third for our personal life, and the last third at work (based on a 24-hr distribution). That's why we should pay attention to issues surrounding work.