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GitHub Announces Widespread Layoffs

Open source developer repository GitHub (which is owned by Microsoft) announced this week that it would be reducing its workforce by 10 percent.   

The job cuts are planned to take place over the course of GitHub's fiscal-year 2023, although some employees have already received notices, according to message from GitHub's CEO Thomas Dohmke, which was published by TechCrunch.com. TechCrunch credited Forbes for first describing the cuts, which don't appear to have been formally announced by the company.

Dohmke indicated that GitHub was making "budgetary alignments" to meet customer demand changes, which included cutting personnel. A "hiring pause" previously instituted on Jan. 18 for GitHub will continue. GitHub also plans to improve its "operational efficiency and scale as a business." To that end, it'll be closing all offices when the leases end, and it'll move to a remote-work approach.

Other cost-cutting measures will include "laptop refreshes" every four years, instead of three years. GitHub also will move to Microsoft Teams solely for videoconferencing activities, which is expected to get finalized in September. GitHub is continuing to use Slack for collaborations, though. The shift to Teams was listed by Dohmke as a cost-savings measure.

Dohmke's message included some possibly inspiring words for GitHub's remaining personnel. He noted that it's currently the "age of AI," which GitHub has already responded to by building GitHub Copilot, "our most successful product launch to date." More vaguely, Dohmke cited a need to simplify cloud adoption for GitHub's customers, but he didn't cite any specific company measures toward that end.

GitHub once was an ostensibly flat organization where everyone was a manager and could work on the projects of their choice, according to Wikipedia's history. However, its salaries were set by the CEO. The company added a middle management tier in 2014. Microsoft acquired GitHub in Oct. 2018 for about $7.5 billion. GitHub now reports to Microsoft, but it purportedly was still an independently run company.

GitHub's layoffs shouldn't be confused with the job cuts enacted by separate company GitLab, which makes open source DevOps software. GitLab is cutting seven percent of its workforce, or about 130 jobs, according to a Thursday report by CNBC.

Tech companies lately have been following a personnel cut trend, sometimes citing economic inflationary concerns as reasons. Two recently announced big cuts include Google's announcement of 12,000 layoffs and Microsoft's 10,000 person cut. Forbes has been trying to chronicle the many recent tech and other layoffs in this 2023 job cuts tracker article.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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