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Leaked Amazon memo shows it only wants to hire students and new grads for entry-level software roles

Do you have layers and layers of bosses, reader? I’m Diamond Naga Siu, and long chains of command are pretty common at tech companies. But middle managers could be the latest layoff target in tech, especially after Mark Zuckerberg’s latest reported comments

After so many people were cut, those middle managers now have fewer workers to oversee. This makes them a natural next layoff target.

I honestly feel bad for middle managers. As the name implies, they’re stuck in the middle, neither worker nor upper-management. And they need to try keeping everyone happy (meanwhile, a study even found that they’re more likely to be anxious and depressed). Yikes.

But if Zuck is on point, far fewer people could hold these precarious roles — at least at Meta.

Anyways, I’m just a worker trying to share 10 interesting stories a day. So let’s dive into some tech.

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Amazon ad series: Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy, surrounded by Amazon related imagery

Mike Blake/Reuters; Savanna Durr/Alyssa Powell/Insider

1. Leaked Amazon memo reveals new hiring strategy. The e-commerce giant is only hiring students and new grads for entry-level software positions, per an internal note reviewed by Insider. The change took effect January 25, 2023.

  • People more than 12 months out of school won’t qualify anymore for the lowest software development engineering position, called SDE-1. This means hiring from student programs is now an even higher priority.
  • The change is “global and Amazon-wide,” reports Insider’s ace Amazon correspondent Eugene Kim. Plus, exceptions require approval of VPs or higher.
  • It’s possibly a cost-cutting method for the infamously frugal company. This pivot targets a younger and more affordable group of workers. And it comes in the middle of a major restructuring of the company.

More on Amazon’s latest hiring strategy here.

In other news:

still of reddit animation. three desks with people working on them, an up arrow above them, and a down arrow below them

iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider

2. Reddit is kicking laid off employees while they’re down. The social media platform has blamed low performance for axing employees. But ex-Redditors slammed the company for its “cruel and dishonest” messaging that they fear could “kill” their chances of getting hired elsewhere. This is what they told Insider.

3. Zuckerberg unveils a new era for tech. Google made cushy tech perks and chasing wild ideas vogue, writes my editor Matt Weinberger. But just as quickly as it came, Mark Zuckerberg ejected it with a reality check. Learn about the leaner tech era here.

4. The 10 jobs ChatGPT will most likely replace. Experts said the new technology particularly threatens “white-collar” jobs. Financial analysts, traders, paralegals, and software engineers are among those at risk. Check out the others here.

5. Salesforce just did another round of layoffs. The number of people cut is unclear. But one person told Insider that the company-wide Slack channel now has 4,000 fewer members. Another said sales and marketing were the most impacted. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest cuts.

Thursday’s tech earnings:

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, speaking at Gallaudet University during his 2022 Commencement Speech.Apple CEO Tim Cook has been embroiled in a battle with staff over plans to mandate which days they are in the office.

Brian Stukes / Contributor Getty

6. Apple: The iPhone maker is the last tech giant standing. CEO Tim Cook acknowledged hurdles the company is currently facing. But its response won’t include cost-cutting, layoffs, or strategy shifts. Instead, the company outlined investments in innovation and its people.

7. Alphabet: Google is highlighting how important AI is as it cuts costs. The company announced that it will start disclosing investments in AI. Meanwhile, it expects to spend $500 million to reduce office space and up to $2.3 billion in severance packages. More on Google’s AI future here.

8. Amazon: bracing for even tougher conditions. The e-commerce giant announced that it plans to have “even faster” deliveries. Yet it’s simultaneously bracing for decreased customer spending on its cloud side. CEO Andy Jassy personally shared his top priorities.

Odds and ends:

Mercedes-Benz EQS with Drive Pilot.Mercedes-Benz EQS with Drive Pilot.


9. Mercedes just beat Tesla at its own game — self-driving. Mercedes just introduced the most advanced self-driving technology yet. It couldn’t come at a worse time for Tesla after it faces struggle after struggle. Hop in for a first look at the Mercedes Drive Pilot here.

10. Ticketless baby ditched at airport check-in. The tardy parents “ran toward the security checks,” authorities said. They reportedly arrived after check-in closed and without a ticket for their baby. More on the abandonment issue here. Bonus: Watch this video that appears to document the moments after they deserted their infant.

The latest people moves in tech:

Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in San Diego. (Feedback or tips? Email or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

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