The massive tax cut for corporations has helped corporate coffers fill to overflow in many cases. However, though U.S. corporations are generally in strong shape on their balance sheets, that doesn’t mean every company is equally flush.
In fact, although the record-low unemployment rate points to a generally strong labor market, a number of companies have made layoffs in 2018. The reasons vary — from broad changes in the business to simply cutting costs and boosting profits — but it stands as proof that any individual company’s short-term needs will trump broad economic trends more often than not. Take a look at some of the companies that quietly reduced their workforce in 2018.
- Established: 2010
- CEO: Evan Spiegel
- Downsized: Approximately 100 jobs
Snapchat rose to fame for delivering disappearing messages, but in early 2018, the company announced that it would also make some jobs disappear. Snap planned to lay off approximately 100 engineers, representing about one-tenth of the total team and about 3 percent of the 3,000 employees it had as of December 2017.
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- Established: 1991
- CEO: Hock E. Tan
- Downsized: Approximately 1,100 jobs
Semiconductor company Broadcom announced corporate layoffs of some 1,100 workers in June as a result of its $5.5 billion acquisition of competitor Brocade. The merger appears to have created some redundancies, and Broadcom reported some $143 million in restructuring charges for the first half of 2018.
- Established: 1875
- CEO: Nobuaki Kurumatani
- Downsized: 2,000 jobs
Toshiba Corp. announced plans in November to liquidate some losing bets, and it plans on shedding about 2,000 jobs in the process. The company intends to sell off its British nuclear power unit and its U.S. liquefied natural gas business, avoiding any future losses associated with the segments. It’s part of a five-year plan that also includes the company downsizing.
- Established: 1945
- CEO: Ynon Kreiz
- Downsized: 2,200 jobs
Mattel’s second-quarter earnings report in late July included disappointing news for a lot of people. The misses on both revenue and profits likely stung shareholders, and the news that the company would be laying off about 22 percent of its workforce — approximately 2,200 people — was a major blow to employees. Although the bankruptcy of Toys R Us might have overshadowed Mattel’s company layoffs in the news, it wasn’t the only business in the toy space that felt the pinch in 2018.
- Established: 1872
- CEO: Thomas J. Falk
- Downsized: 3,500 jobs
Some 5,000 employees of Kimberly-Clark found themselves in need of a Kleenex in January, or maybe just a Huggie. That’s because the consumer goods conglomerate is in the process of slashing over $2 billion in costs by the end of 2021, and announced at the start of 2018 that the cuts would include shedding some 5,000 jobs as it shutters 10 of its 91 factories worldwide.
- Established: 2003
- CEO: Elon Musk
- Downsized: Approximately 3,650 jobs
Few companies have experienced the sort of wild ride in the news that Tesla has, from illegal tweets by CEO Elon Musk to the ongoing drama of the company’s efforts to meet production goals for the new Model 3 sedan. As such, you might have failed to notice the announcement that the company would be reducing its workforce by 9 percent to 37,000 positions by the end of the year. The layoffs hit only salaried employees, with executives promising that production workers building the Model 3 would be unaffected.
- Established: 1939
- CEO: Dion J. Weisler
- Downsized: 5,000 jobs
The company HP Inc. — not to be confused with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, the other company spun out of HP in a 2015 split of the hardware and data center businesses — announced plans to shed about 10 percent of its workforce by the close of 2019. The restructuring plan will cost the company some $700 million in severance pay and other expenses.
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- Established: 1870
- CEO: Christian Sewing
- Downsized: 7,000 jobs
Deutsche Bank announced plans to shed some 7,000 jobs to bring down its global workforce from 97,000 positions. The move will mostly cull positions from the company’s equities sales and trading desks, and is part of an effort to cut spending in its investment banking branch by a whopping $1 billion by the end of 2019.
Ford Motor Company
- Established: 1903
- CEO: James P. Hackett
- Downsized: Approximately 24,000 jobs
Ford is not having a good year: Shares are off nearly 20 percent in 2018, and the company reported that new tariffs will mean a bottom-line hit of $1 billion. As a result, Ford plans to shed a large portion of its 70,000 white-collar positions as part of its massive $25.5 billion reorganization, which is intended to shave off some $6 billion in expenditures by eliminating inefficiencies. The company hasn’t officially announced numbers, but Morgan Stanley analysts estimate a reduction of 24,000 workers worldwide.
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- Established: 1852
- CEO: Timothy J. Sloan
- Downsized: As many as 26,450 jobs
Wells Fargo announced a plan to shed 5 to 10 percent of its workforce over the next 10 years. The company is still reeling from the scandal over its aggressive — and illegal — sales tactics, and it’s currently looking to downsize its workforce and simplify the organization. With almost 265,000 employees as of the end of June, that could mean the number of company layoffs will clear 25,000 when all is said and done.
- Established: 1940
- CEO: Stephen J. Easterbrook
- Downsized: Undisclosed
The fast-food chain known for its golden arches is planning on handing out some golden parachutes: McDonald’s announced plans to change its corporate structure and ultimately shed jobs in an effort to streamline the corporation. The big change comes from reducing the number of corporate layers between the CEO and field consultants from eight to six. Although no details on the number of layoffs have been announced, McDonald’s has targeted savings of $500 million by the end of 2019.
Click through to see how some companies sparked a retail renaissance.
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About the Author
Joel Anderson is a business and finance writer with over a decade of experience writing about the wide world of finance. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in writing about the financial markets, stocks, macroeconomic concepts and focuses on helping make complex financial concepts digestible for the retail investor.