Jasper, an Early Generative AI Winner, Cuts Internal Valuation as Growth SlowsRead more

Illustration by Mike Sullivan
Illustration by Mike Sullivan

At Google, Meta and Other Tech Companies, the Layoffs Are Streaming Live on TikTok

Fired employees are posting through the tech recession as they turn to TikTok to vent, commiserate and network for their next job.

Jan. 26, 2023 10:21 AM PST

Like many of the 12,000 workers laid off by Google last Friday, Zac Bowling didn’t see it coming.

The software engineer, who had worked at the tech giant since May 2015, was building what Google has billed as the future of operating systems, its Fuschia project. He thought his company and his job were safe from the widespread layoffs hitting the tech industry. Until they weren’t.

At around 8 a.m. on January 20, Bowling was locked out of company systems with no notice. He Googled “Google layoffs” and read that the company was shedding 6% of its workforce. “I saw that and I’m like: ‘Oh, oh, no: I’m laid off,’” he said.

Even his manager wasn’t made aware of the firing. Unable to contact Bowling using the internal company systems, she tracked him down via LinkedIn to hear the news firsthand. Bowling then logged onto Twitter, where he posted a brief missive announcing his firing that has since been seen nearly 630,000 times. Next, he turned to TikTok.

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