Online retailer eBay to cut 1,000 jobs as tech layoffs continue

Company also plans to scale back the number of contracts it has within its alternate workforce over the coming months

The company said it is reducing its full-time workforce by around 9 per cent. AP
Powered by automated translation

E-commerce major eBay will lay off approximately 1,000 employees or an estimated 9 per cent of its full-time staff as technology companies continue to downsize operations.

In a note to the company's employees later posted online on Tuesday, Jamie Iannone, eBay’s chief executive, said the move was the “most significant and toughest” of all planned changes to ensure “long-term, sustainable growth”.

He also said eBay plans to scale back the number of contracts it has within its alternate workforce over the coming months.

“Despite facing external pressures, like the challenging macroeconomic environment, we know we can be better with the factors we control,” Mr Iannone said.

“While we are making progress against our strategy, our overall headcount and expenses have outpaced the growth of our business. To address this, we're implementing organisational changes that align and consolidate certain teams to improve the end-to-end experience, and better meet the needs of our customers around the world.”

The move comes as technology companies continue to lay off employees to streamline operations after a hiring spree during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This month, Google fired hundreds of employees across its hardware, engineering and digital voice assistant units, triggering speculation about a wider round of job cuts for Silicon Valley technology companies.

The Alphabet-owned company's move was part of efforts to optimise its operational costs, it said.

Google's firings followed a round of layoffs by Amazon, the world's biggest e-commerce company.

Its live-streaming unit, Twitch, said it was laying off 500 staff – more than a third of its workforce – calling it a “difficult decision” intended to help the company “build a more sustainable business” and help it stay for the “long run”.

Amazon also said it was letting go of hundreds of employees in its Prime Video and MGM Studios divisions.

Technology led all industries in job cut announcements in the US last year with 168,032 layoffs, up 73 per cent yearly, a report by career consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.

The total fell just short of the annual record of 168,395 cuts announced for the sector in 2001.

The number of layoffs “fell precipitously” over the summer, and then increased in the fourth quarter, the report said. In December, technology companies announced 4,470 cuts.

“The tech sector will continue to be impacted by the onset of AI [artificial intelligence], mergers and acquisitions, and realigning of resources and talent,” said Andy Challenger, workplace and labour expert and senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

AI is the star of the show at CES 2024

AI is the star of the show at CES 2024

Overall, US companies announced 721,677 job cuts last year, marking a 98 per cent annual increase, the report said.

It is the highest annual total since 2020, when the pandemic started.

Across all sectors, employers are still “extremely cautious and in cost-cutting mode heading into 2024, so the hiring process will likely slow for many job seekers and cuts will continue in Q1 [the first quarter], though at a slower pace”, Mr Challenger said.

EBay said it will begin notifying those employees whose roles have been eliminated.

“Over the past three years, we made fundamental changes in our experiences across categories and accelerated the pace of innovation at eBay,” Mr Iannone said.

“In areas where we’re investing, we are seeing consistent increases in customer satisfaction and a meaningful improvement in our growth relative to the market.”

But more needs to be done, he added.

“We need to better organise our teams for speed – allowing us to be more nimble, bring like-work together, and help us make decisions more quickly,” he said.

“These changes are difficult, but I’m confident that by working together we will become stronger than ever. In the months ahead, you will see a more focused, agile, and responsive eBay.”

Updated: January 24, 2024, 5:34 AM