The Scoop #22: Freezes at Microsoft, Hiring Slowdowns Across the Industry
Also: is Meta preparing for AI / ML ‘war time’ with TikTok? And the deep-cutting layoffs continue.
The Scoop is a bonus series, covering patterns and trends I observe and hear about within Big Tech and at high-growth startups. Have a scoop to share? Send me a message! I treat all such messages as anonymous.
The Scoop sometimes delivers first-hand, original, reportage. I’m adding an ‘Exclusive’ label to news which features original reporting direct from my sources, as distinct from analysis, opinion and reaction to events. Of course, I also analyze what’s happening in the tech industry, citing other media sources and quoting them as I dive into trends I observe. These sections do not carry the ‘Exclusive’ mark.
Meta preparing for AI / ML ‘war time’? TikTok could be a similarly existential threat to Meta in 2022 – six years after TikTok was founded – as Facebook was to Myspace in 2008, four years after Facebook was founded. There are signs Meta is gearing up to fight this threat. I talked with software engineers inside the company on how they expect the company to respond. Spoiler: ‘war time’ might be back in some parts of Meta. Exclusive.
Microsoft cutting spending in the current quarter. Travel and other non-essential spending is frozen across the company. I talked with engineers and managers to get a sense of what they make of this change.
Google: some uncertainty, and an ongoing hiring freeze. Travel spend within parts of Google Cloud is scrutinized. The hiring freeze across Google has quietly been extended. At the same time, recruiters are hinting to candidates that software engineering hiring will continue. I talked with both salesfolks and engineers inside the company to get a pulse on things. Exclusive.
Hiring slowdowns continue. More tech companies are reducing the pace of hiring. Exclusive on Datadog, Smartsheets, Mendix, Solarisbank and Binance.
Layoffs and bankruptcies. VC-funded companies Pollen and Nuri just went bankrupt. Peloton and TruePill both went through their third rounds of layoffs. Calm laid off engineers. Is Snap planning layoffs? My analysis on why these events keep happening and if we can expect more or fewer of them.
Warrants: an exotic equity reward at Klarna. Klarna offered warrants for purchase to top performers at the company. What is a warrant, why did Klarna issue them and what happens when the company’s valuation goes down? Exclusive.