Apple laying off 50 sales staff due to economy, enterprise

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
After making itself appear impervious to economic conditions, Apple has reportedly shown 50 enterprise sales workers the exit in a low-key move that refocuses the company.



The Mac maker is said by CNET News to have kept quiet and let go of some Cupertino-based employees, as well as a whole sales division in Austin, by bringing the affected employees into meeting rooms last week and giving them the notices with security guards in tow.



In both cases, the layoffs took place for "business and economic reasons," though these aren't tied to poor sales or any other systemic problems within the group itself. Instead, they centered on a shift in Apple's strategy for its enterprise sales. Since putting former Americas reseller head John Brandon at the front of the division, the company has reduced the demand on its own end by giving Ingram Micro and other resellers the bulk of the responsibility for pitching Macs to businesses.



The company also didn't preclude any of those facing a forced departure and has offered them the chance to be rehired within Apple.



Even so, Apple has been particularly cautious about mentioning the staff reductions despite an economy where layoffs have been commonplace: both after early, unverified rumors and the most recent report, Apple spokes people have publicly declined to comment rather than acknowledge the headcount change.



The hesitation to report the maneuver is believed to stem both from Apple's historically secretive attitude as well as investors that are already extremely sensitive to any signs of doubt. Apple has rarely disclosed more about its employees than legally required and was only pressured into making statements on Steve Jobs' health after his medical leave made the announcement necessary. As the number of layoffs in the enterprise sales division wasn't large enough to require a public announcement, Apple is thought to have taken the same approach as for Jobs and kept silent in hopes that shareholders wouldn't take notice.



While such a claim would be difficult to verify on its own, Apple is already known to have been taking great pains to avoid laying off staff even when the full impact of the economic crisis became evident late last year. At retail, the company has reduced employee hours, made Creative and Studio workers multitask, and otherwise sought ways to cut costs without conspicuous layoffs or pay rate drops.



As such, cuts within internal groups like the enterprise branch -- as well as unverified rumors of cuts in the Mac hardware group -- are expected to be particularly sore points for Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    xsamplexxsamplex Posts: 214member
    What is that, $7M or $8M with benefits? Sound more like getting rid of deadwood than an economic choice for a company the size of Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 72
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Alright, they're only laying off 50 people. What's all the fuss about?! They're not going to save any money and it's probably just a restructuring. Random people get fired every day... don't they?
  • Reply 3 of 72
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Buck View Post


    Alright, they're only laying off 50 people. What's all the fuss about?! They're not going to save any money and it's probably just a restructuring. Random people get fired every day... don't they?



    No, no. This is about finding an excuse, any excuse, to label Apple as a failing company. C|net is pushing this big time. It won't be long before somebody slaps the "beleaguered" moniker on Apple once again. For some reason most tech news sites can't stand the idea of a healthy and profitable Apple, Inc. Apple's success irks them to no end. They can't understand why people buy Apple products even though they are priced higher than the "standard" hardware. Tech news pundits are constantly looking for, or trying to manufacture, negative news when it relates to Apple. They want the company to fail because it doesn't conform to their ideas of how the world works.
  • Reply 4 of 72
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    This was reported on late last week and was flatly denied by Apple. I think it was on MacDailyNews but I'm not sure.
  • Reply 5 of 72
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Whew! At first I thought it was 50%.
  • Reply 6 of 72
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 613member
    "After making itself appear impervious to economic conditions,"



    Exactly how did they make themselves look impervious?



    Or are you merely editorializing (that's French for "making stuff up").
  • Reply 7 of 72
    gyokurogyokuro Posts: 83member
    -- as well as unverified rumors of cuts in the Mac hardware group -- are expected to be particularly sore points for Apple.



    The same "hardware group" that brought us such an exciting recent release of same-old, same-old?

  • Reply 8 of 72
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    This is a very odd sentence:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The company also didn't preclude any of those facing a forced departure and has offered them the chance to be rehired within Apple.



    If a sentence it may be.



    I think you need to replace "and has offered them the chance to be" with "from being".
  • Reply 9 of 72
    columbuscolumbus Posts: 281member
    I hope they are not laying people off on the Mac hardware side, as I feel they need more staff, not less, particularly in the area of QA.



    It hardly seems Apple is able to ship a product with some sort of defect, some which affect a good percentage of machines and some quite serious:

    - cracking cases

    - warped cases

    - thin grey lines across screens

    - faulty graphics card

    - trackpads not registering clicks

    - cracked hinges

    - case discoloration

    - thermal problems and core shutdowns

    - DVI adaptors not working

    - random shutdowns

    - flakey wifi



    By anyone's estimations that is quite a list for the last couple of few years. I appreciate some things are unavoidable and computers are inherently complex, but I have doubts about whether there is enough focus on QA.
  • Reply 10 of 72
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,223member
    50/32,000 = 0.0015625

  • Reply 11 of 72
    rnp1rnp1 Posts: 175member
    [QUOTE=AppleInsider;1387488



    The Mac maker is said ... to have kept quiet and let go of some Cupertino-based employees.... by bringing the affected employees into meeting rooms last week and giving them the notices with.... !!!!security guards in tow!!!!......[/QUOTE]



    HEY DON"T GET UPSET IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOB HERE! YOU ARE SHUFFLED OUT THE BACK DOOR BY AN ARMED MONKEY!!!!NUMBER ONE COMPANY TO WORK FOR???? (Puts a new meaning to the word, 'fired'. Didn't this sort of behavior lead to the demise of Saddam Hussein? I never guessed that Al Gore has a Mac as protection from the Bill Clinton disappearance team. Yes, John Scully did sit next to Hilary at Bills' first State of the Union!)
  • Reply 12 of 72
    The point of the article is that the CEO (acting) flatly denied they did.



    APPLE IS LYING AGAIN THE SAME WAY THEY DID WITH JOBS ILLNESS.



    SHAREHOLDERS ARE GOING TO BE PISSED OFF.



    This is likely the reason they were downgraded again.
  • Reply 13 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rnp1 View Post


    HEY DON"T GET UPSET IF YOU LOOSE YOUR JOB HERE! YOU ARE SHUFFLED OUT THE BACK DOOR BY AN ARMED MONKEY!!!!NUMBER ONE COMPANY TO WORK FOR???? (Puts a new meaning to the word, 'fired'. Didn't this sort of behavior lead to the demise of Saddam Hussein? I never guessed that Al Gore has a Mac as protection from the Bill Clinton disappearance team. Yes, John Scully did sit in the front row at Bill inauguration!)



    I work at Cisco, and with all of the layoffs we now have at least one security guard at the entrance every building.
  • Reply 14 of 72
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    I don't know, most of the time I am on Apple's side, but when it comes to laying people off when Apple is financially solid doesn't seem right. The sales force is what keeps the contact with the customer base. Yes, maybe times are tough, but Apple also dropped the XRaid line of storage systems which is a part of Enterprise Sales and they haven't kept up to date with the XServes nor have they really done anything to spearhead Enterprise class software.



    I think Apple should retain these people as much as possible and let them continue working for Apple, but maybe in a different capacity whenever possible. Maybe they might be able to at least work at an Apple Store, work in marketing, or learn to do something else within the company so that Apple doesn't have to spend additional money rehiring another person.



    Companies that are stronger usually do whatever they can to retain employees, especially the outbound sales force. Internal sales force if the call load isn't there, that's another story, but still it is always sad to see people go because it just sends a bad message and the people can't always get a job in 60 days even though they only get 60 days base pay for being laid off.



    This is only going to affect the bottom line by maybe $7 or $8 Mil, which is chump change for Apple. They could easily cut some salaries and save that money or cut expenses.
  • Reply 15 of 72
    rnp1rnp1 Posts: 175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post


    I work at Cisco, and with all of the layoffs we now have at least one security guard at the entrance every building.



    I guess that makes it okay then for the number one rated company to work for, with the best reputation for quality to have deteriorated to this! Wouldn't it be better to do a security check on perspective employees and keep the hiring down to pleasant, dedicated people, who would be courteously advised at least a month before being terminated. So they don't lose it in a private meeting from a cold manager who prefers to use a PC at home. Those 'smart' managers who were hired by Apple because they know how to 'handle' people!!!
  • Reply 16 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post


    What is that, $7M or $8M with benefits? Sound more like getting rid of deadwood than an economic choice for a company the size of Apple.



    Deadwood? A whole sales division in Austin? In that case we can expect another layoff... the head of Apple's HR department.
  • Reply 17 of 72
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    This is a very odd sentence:

    If a sentence it may be.



    I think you need to replace "and has offered them the chance to be" with "from being".



    Yeah, you know, words are hard.
  • Reply 18 of 72
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rnp1 View Post


    I guess that makes it okay then for the number one rated company to work for, with the best reputation for quality to have deteriorated to this! Wouldn't it be better to do a security check on perspective employees and keep the hiring down to pleasant, dedicated people, who would be courteously advised at least a month before being terminated. So they don't loose it in a private meeting from a cold manager who prefers to use a PC at home. Those 'smart' managers who were hired by Apple because they know how to 'handle' people!!!



    Jesus christ, what are you smoking?
  • Reply 19 of 72
    rnp1rnp1 Posts: 175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Switchers (Chief Editor) View Post


    Deadwood? A whole sales division in Austin? In that case we can expect another layoff... the head of Apple's HR department.



    Are you serious? The HR guys call the shots...they probably have everyone documented in Excel spreadsheets on their Dell PCs. I think their jobs are safer than anybodys. But you are right-Apple should keep the people it trains so extensively and find other ways to trim. How bout the legal department??
  • Reply 20 of 72
    rnp1rnp1 Posts: 175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Jesus christ, what are you smoking?



    Jesus doesn't smoke anything, but I did. It was Al Gores favorite blend too!
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