200,000 people laid off! Failure of visionary LEADERSHIP, COPYCAT behaviour or just STOCKS?

Let’s not disagree the fact that the big techs are an integral part of our daily lives. Whether it is empowering business via search engine, becoming social media sensations by making videos, connecting with long-distanced family and friends or leveraging the online buy experience. 

However, last few weeks could be the largest labour-cut phase in the recent tech history. And unfortunately, this bloodbath still continues. Most of the organisations claim to have hired immense amounts of workforce at such a rapid pace because of the “needs at that time”. Quite an aggressive and reckless move though, so to speak. Which now turned out to be an act of ruthlessness cost-cutting measures.

Failure Of Visionary Leadership?

One of the biggest questions I have, is, if there was enough backlog available for development and production where such huge work force was required? 

Apparently, a visionary leader wouldn’t make a hasty and audacious move causing hiring spree but to take rational and heuristic decisions based on the work to be done. 

Every time companies request for a new demand of certain skillsets and competence, people’s behaviour follow the trend to adapt accordingly by investing time and money to build those requested and required expertise. This creates a cycle. Which seems to have hurt badly, not just to individuals but families too, all together! 

A question here is why newly hired were offered such lucrative pay packages, stocks, doubled salaries sometimes and tons of other benefits, if they couldn’t be kept for too long?

And then the follow statement full of surprises:

“We hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,”

said by Google CEO Sundar Pichai

I mean c’mon, you don’t hire because of economy, you hire because you have work where people are needed. If someone is only hiring because of a certain economic situation, I would have concerns!

Shouldn’t there be a central body (e.g; a Syndicate) to scrutinise leaders for their actions or the decisions they have taken which caused such mayhem? 

More about developing leadership skills can be found here: Essential Leadership Skills

Why so many layoffs?

So… why are there these many layoffs happening all of a sudden, at once? Well, it could be the ripple effect of a copycat behaviour. And that is contagious, according to Professor Jeffery Pfeffer at Stanford University. It drives as if others are doing it, why shouldn’t we too? Riding the same bandwagon becomes a trend, and result in exponential impact in the whole world. This behaviour might have limited relation with stocks, but the bigger problem is lack of making good decisions!

That also raises even bigger questions for instance:

  • Why should people trust such leaders who lack a long term vision?
  • Should tech workers still choose them to work with for the short term benefit or may be find someone where they are treated well, with respect? And where they are found to be the most important assets of the company? 
  • Why the leaders didn’t learn from the past mistakes? Also what guarantees that the same leader who made the wrong decisions in the past, wouldn’t do that again? 

On the other hand, a lot of inflation related predictors and claims, sound a bit off, as this massive layoff boosted their stock value. Here are some of them: 

Another dimension of this havoc and calamity, is the stock market driven mindsets. Meaning laying people off is often connected with the stocks and that could also be true. Investors are now seeing some relief for a long awaited sell-offs. Besides that, there are hedge fund advisors and stock brokers already started to celebrate as soaring stock price bringing in massive gains.

For instance,

This is a decade overdue, but I am very glad to see these encouraging steps toward focusing on margins.

said Gene Munster, a co-founder and managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management. On the top, they are still expecting an additional 15% to 20% headcount reduction in Big Tech. 

Third and most important dimension of this outcome is the connected health related risks and the impacts laid-off workforce is going to take. Usually layoffs increase people’s stress, anxiety, depression and in some cases long term addictions because of lack of self esteem and uncertainty in the job market. This is not just on individual level, people have families and dependants who they take care of. Here is the list of emotional, psychological and physical reactions people get:

Emotional ImpactsPhysical Impacts
Depression & AnxietyWeight loss or gain
FrustrationSleep disturbance
AngerUpset stomach
Low self esteemBodily fatigue
Fear & DisbeliefHeadaches

In worst cases it could be fatal! 


Is it fair to make money at the cost of human lives? People ought to be always come first and be the highest priority of organisations. Without them, well, there are no organisations!