Home / Business / Salesforce ‘hired too many people,’ will lay off 10 per cent of workforce

Salesforce ‘hired too many people,’ will lay off 10 per cent of workforce

Salesforce Inc said it plans to cut jobs by 10 per cent and close some offices, after rapid pandemic hiring left it with a bloated workforce amid an economic slowdown. 

‘The environment remains challenging,’ co-CEO said in letter to employees.

A blue, cloud-shaped logo with the word Salesforce written at its centre.

Salesforce Inc said it plans to cut jobs by 10 per cent and close some offices, after rapid pandemic hiring left it with a bloated workforce amid an economic slowdown.

The cloud-based software firm said on Wednesday the job cuts would lead to about $1.4 billion US to $2.1 billion in charges, while only about $800 million to $1 billion will be recorded in the fourth quarter.

Companies like Meta and Amazon have slashed thousands of jobs in the past year, in preparation for a recession, expected as a result of aggressive interest rate hikes by global central banks to curb inflation.

Salesforce Canada employs 1,800 people and has offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax, according to its website. When contacted by CBC News, the company would not say whether its Canadian operations and employees are impacted by the layoffs.

Salesforce had 73,541 employees at the end of January 2022, a 30 per cent jump from 2021.

‘We hired too many people’

Businesses that relied on cloud services during the pandemic are now trying to reduce expenses and are delaying new projects, hurting companies such as Salesforce and Microsoft Corp.

“The environment remains challenging and our customers are taking a more measured approach to their purchasing decisions,” Salesforce co-chief executive officer Marc Benioff said in a letter to employees.

A close-up of a bearded man wearing glasses.

“As our revenue accelerated through the pandemic, we hired too many people leading into this economic downturn we’re now facing, and I take responsibility for that.” Its shares were up about 3 per cent on Wednesday. They lost roughly half their value in 2022 as Salesforce posted four consecutive quarters of slowing growth.

“It (the company) is certainly not alone as the sector has grappled with a demand environment that has meaningfully softened over the last 12 months,” William Blair analyst Arjun Bhatia said.

The move puts Salesforce in a good position to meet its 2026 target of 25 per cent operating margin but the macro backdrop could pose risk to its $50 billion US revenue target, Bhatia said.

“There is high likelihood of right-sizing by other software firms,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Rishi Jaluria said.

With files from CBC News

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