More tech layoffs as GitHub, GitLab, and Yahoo slash workers

Kip Kniskern

The tech layoff trend continued today, as GitHub, owned by Microsoft, GitLab, and Yahoo! all announced layoffs. GitHub, as first reported by Fortune and detailed in this TechCrunch report, including the email to employees, is laying off 10% of its workforce, about 300 of its 3,000 employees by the end of the fiscal year. In addition, the fully owned by Microsoft company will close all of its offices as their leases end, at least in part due to low usage, as it moves to a fully remote based model.

A previously announced hiring freeze will remain in effect. GitHub recently announced that it is home to 100 million developers, and has had success with its Copilot program, an AI based helper for writing code, their “most successful product launch to date.”

In addition, GitHub is making a couple of other cost saving moves:

i) Effective immediately, we will be moving laptop refreshes from three years to four years.

ii) We will be moving to Microsoft Teams for the sole purpose of video conferencing, saving significant cost and simplifying cross-company and customer conversations. This move will be complete by September 1, 2023. We will remain on Slack as our day-to-day collaboration tool.

GitHub rival Gitlab also announced layoffs today, totaling 7% of their workforce, affecting approximately 114 employees. An email from GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij lays out the reasons for the layoffs:

The current macroeconomic environment is tough, and as a result, companies are still spending but they are taking a more conservative approach to software investments and are taking more time to make purchasing decisions.

I had hoped reprioritizing our spending would be enough to withstand the growing global economic downturn. Unfortunately, we need to take further steps and match our pace of spending with our commitment to responsible growth.

Finally, Yahoo! is conducting its own set of layoffs, affecting some 20% of the workforce and more than 50% of the company’s ad tech employees. The layoffs will count more than 1600 workers, according to Axios. Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone said that the reductions aren’t related to financial challenges, but to “strategic changes to the company’s Yahoo for Business advertising unit, which is not profitable.”

In 2021, Yahoo and AOL were acquired by a global equity firm, Apollo from Verizon, and renamed Yahoo. At one time, Microsoft was in serious bidding to acquire Yahoo for some $44 billion back in 2008. Yahoo was a more prominent ad tech and web portal business, but those talks eventually fell through as then CEO Jerry Yang pulled out of the deal, in what was considered at the time a lucky break for Microsoft.

Image: DALL-E 2 rendition of “sad laid off tech workers”