(Bloomberg) — From Seattle to Silicon Valley to Austin, a grim new reality is setting in across the tech landscape: a heady, decades-long era of rapid sales gains, boundless jobs growth and ever-soaring stock prices is coming to an end.
What’s emerging in its place is an age of diminished expectations marked by job cuts and hiring slowdowns, slashed growth projections and shelved expansion plans. The malaise is damaging employee morale, affecting the industry’s ability to attract talent, and has wide-ranging implications for US economic growth and innovation.
Illustrations of a dour new business climate surface daily against the backdrop of a prolonged economic slowdown, a grinding war in Europe, rising interest rates and inflation, and a global pandemic dragging into its third year. In the past two weeks, a parade of big names joined the crowd. Social media app Snap Inc. on May 23 pruned sales and profit forecasts and said it will slow hiring. The next day, Lyft Inc. said it will bring on fewer people and look for other cost cuts. Days later, Microsoft Corp. tapped the brakes on hiring in several key divisions, and Instacart Inc. said it will dial back hiring plans to nip costs ahead of a planned initial public offering.
The drumbeat continued yesterday, as Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told employees the electric-vehicle maker needs to reduce its salaried workforce by 10% and pause hiring worldwide. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. also said it will extend a hiring freeze and rescind a number of accepted job offers, citing market conditions.
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