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Opinion
Stephen Mihm

Mass Layoffs in Big Tech Are an Old-Guard Mistake

Twitter, Meta and Amazon are repeating what history has proved to be a deeply risky strategy, weakening companies in the long term for short-term savings.

1980s throwback.

1980s throwback.

Photographer: Angela Weiss/AFP

For years, fawning profiles have assured us that tech titans like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg are 21st century visionaries, not old-school corporate hacks — which is precisely why news of mass layoffs at Twitter Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. is so jarring.

Far from cutting-edge, these layoffs mark a revival of long-discredited corporate strategies. If the trend continues, history suggests these tech leaders will leave their companies severely crippled, at best.