8 companies that have cut down their workforce in 2016

Bloomberg published an article early this year outlining how venture capitalists won't be investing as much capital into tech firms and startups as they once did. Most of the time, this cautionary act can be attributed to either bad financial times at the current moment or ones that will appear in the very near future.

A couple of weeks later, Tim Cook mentioned that Apple will be facing some rather tough economic conditions globally, Yahoo had to respond to mounting pressures to sell their business units, and most US tech stocks had quite a horrible start this year.

While it's not entirely fair to interpret such events as indicators of bad financial times, a few companies around the world had to take a proactive step to slash and reorganise their workforce.

Here's a list of companies that either had to cut down their workforce or are planning to do so just two months into 2016.

1. Tripda

Rocket Internet's carpooling app, Tripda announced earlier this month that they would be organising a global shutdown of the platform. The carpooling app was founded in Brazil nearly two years ago, and since then it has expanded to many developing nations. In total, it operates in 13 markets and 6 of them happen to be in Asia.

According to Tribune, the platform failed to secure their series B round of funding, and as such most of Tripda's 100+ member team will end up losing their jobs. However, they will be compensated with one month's salary when they do.

Rocket Internet had been experiencing tumultuous times since debuting on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2014. Since then their market cap has been slashed in half, and they even began this year by shutting down the Asian operations of Easytaxi and they even sold Foodpanda's operations in Brazil and Mexico along with other food ordering sites in Spain and Italy to its rival Just Eat.

And now, they'll be shutting down Tripda.

2. Autodesk

Autodesk a design-focused software announced early month that they will be laying off 925 positions, around 10 per cent of their entire workforce. It was founded in 1982 and it became popular for its AutoCad desktop software but it today it produces a range of tools across multiple platforms and design disciplines, and it also has a stake in 3D printing with its platform, Spark. Autodesk is also said to be making one of the best game engines in the market in Stingray.

According to VentureBeat, the company hopes that this move will help them expedite its transition to the cloud and a subscription-based business model. Also, it's also important to note that this is just a pre-emptive act to ensure that the company is able to restructure and become more efficient in the process.

Companies that have cut down their workforce in 2016

  • Tripda

    Rocket Internet's carpooling app, Tripda announced earlier this month that they would be organising a global shutdown of the platform.

  • Autodesk

    Autodesk a design-focused software announced early month that they will be laying off 925 positions, around 10 per cent of their entire workforce.

  • Yahoo

    Recently tech giant Yahoo confirmed that would be shedding 15 per cent of their entire workforce, and its also exploring other "strategic alternatives".

  • Yahoo

    Employees in Yahoo's Singapore office were notified of the layoffs on Feb 18.

  • Rakuten

    e-commerce platform Rakuten announced in Feb 2016 that they would be shutting down all their operations in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

  • Rakuten

    The platform probably faced a significant number of challenges in Malaysia, and they will be withdrawing to focus their efforts in countries like Japan and Taiwan.

  • Bombardier

    Bombardier will be cutting their workforce by about 7000 over the next two years.

  • Bombardier

    They will be cutting 580 jobs from their Belfast operation this year and potentially another 500 the following year.

  • Shell

    Multinational oil and gas company, Royal Dutch Shell operates in more than 70 countries and employ more than 94,000 people worldwide.

  • Shell

    Given the fact that oil prices have dropped by almost 70 per cent in less than two years, the company has already started cutting 10,000 jobs to try and recover from all their losses.

  • Devon Energy

    Devon Energy, a US oil producer, mentioned that 700 people would lose their jobs by the end of the Feb 18, 2016, and this is all in response to the current commodity price environment.

  • Top Glove

    Malaysian company Top Glove is currently the world's largest maker of natural rubber gloves with operations in 27 countries. The company announced that they would cut their foreign labour by 5 per cent due to rising costs and increasing automation.

  • Barclays

    Some 100 Barclays employees in Singapore were axed on Jan 21 in a drastic cost-cutting exercise which saw the bank exit multiple businesses across Asia.

  • Standard Chartered

    Global bank Standard Chartered had laid off a number of people in Singapore late last year as it axed 15,000 jobs globally.

  • Standard Chartered

    Its previous workforce globally was at 86,000, and currently employs about 7,000 staff in Singapore.

  • HSBC

    HSBC has announced that they will be freezing salaries and freezing hiring in 2016 globally in the battle to cut costs, affecting 3,000 Singapore employees.

  • Resorts World Sentosa

    According to a report on Straits Times, more than 30 employees at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) have been laid off earlier in February.

  • Resorts World Sentosa

    However, the lay offs was due to overstaffing and it is not an isolated case. There are currently about 12,000 people working at Resorts World Sentosa.

  • Maersk

    Maersk Line, one of the world's top container shipping companies, recently merged its Singapore and Hong Kong regional offices. Last November, it also shared new plans to reduce its network capacity and announced that it will be cutting 4,000 jobs.

  • STMicroelectronics

    STMicroelectronics will cut about 1,400 jobs and close its loss-making set-top box business, including 670 in Asia.

  • Goldman Sachs

    Goldman Sachs has been reducing the size of its investment-banking team in Singapore by about 30 per cent compared with the start of last year, according to a report from Bloomberg.

  • Credit Suisse

    Credit Suisse announced 4,000 job cuts globally, although no layoffs are expected in the Asia-Pacific region yet.

  • Royal Bank of Scotland

    Royal Bank of Scotland has also announced that they could be cutting as many as 80 per cent of the jobs in its investment banking unit over the next 4 years, and last year laid off "hundreds" in Singapore.

3. Yahoo

Recently tech giant Yahoo confirmed that would be shedding 15 per cent of their entire workforce, and its also exploring other "strategic alternatives" according to TechCrunch. Majority of the job cuts will be carried out within the first quarter.

Yahoo projects that it will have around 9000 employees and less than a 1000 contractors by the end of the year. They will also be closing their offices in Dubai, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Madrid, and Milan.

4. Rakuten

The e-commerce platform founded in Japan in 1997, also announced this month that they would be shutting down all their operations in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. As such, they will be retrenching 150 employees from the region. However, they will assist few of their employees with severance packages and with new employment opportunities.

The platform runs on a B2B2C model whereby they partner with customer-oriented businesses and merchants to appeal to new markets and customers. However, the platform probably faced a significant number of challenges in Malaysia, and they will be withdrawing to focus their efforts in countries like Japan and Taiwan.

5. Bombardier

According to BBC Canadian plane and train maker, Bombardier will be cutting their workforce by about 7000 over the next two years. They will be cutting 580 jobs from their Belfast operation this year and potentially another 500 the following year. Also 200 of their Northern island branch are also at the risk of redundancy. Currently, Bombardier happens to be the largest manufacturing employer in Northern Island.

They will cut about 270 management and contractor jobs at its trains business in the UK, and this will include a wipe out of 44 permanent positions.

These job cuts are spurred by the fact that they made a net loss of US$5.3 billion in 2015, and had only 10 per cent revenue than the year before.

5 things Singaporeans should do in the economic slowdown

  • The gloomy outlook in 2016 is expected to result in higher retrenchment figures, a slowdown in employment and horrible news for a whole bunch of industries.
  • NTUC has spoken: They predict that in the first quarter of 2016, 234 workers in unionised companies could be retrenched, a 31 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2015.
  • No matter how useful you think you are to your company, there's a chance your boss thinks of you, yes you, as an unnecessary cost-especially if he can just dump all your work on the guy in the next cubicle.
  • Job hopping is nothing new in Singapore, and while the employment market is still pretty robust, don't quit without another job lined up unless you're okay with the fact that it's probably going to be harder to find a new one than it was last year.
  • Employers are going to find it harder to justify hiring a new guy, so you definitely don't want to be job hunting desperately at that time.
  • If you're a business owner and haven't bothered correcting certain inefficiencies, this is the time to do it, as you could be in for some tough times.
  • While businesses across the board are likely to feel the pinch, if you're in particularly vulnerable industries like tourism and manufacturing, now is the time to see if there are more efficient, more streamlined and cheaper ways to do what you do.
  • Even if you don't find yourself unceremoniously retrenched, if your company is badly affected you can expect a smaller (or even no) bonus, as many people did during the 2008 recession, or even a pay cut.
  • This is not exactly the best time to start a designer bag collection or plan a lavish shopping trip to the factory outlets in California.
  • Everyone's investment mix is different, but if you're a stock investor who buys and holds for the long-term, this may be a good year to monitor stock prices more closely.
  • At this point, many stocks are quite heavily undervalued, and property prices are still on the decline. It's anyone guess when they'll rebound, but for now, investors should pay attention.

6. Shell

Multinational oil and gas company, Royal Dutch Shell operates in more than 70 countries and they employ more than 94,000 people worldwide. Given the fact that oil prices have dropped by almost 70 per cent in less than two years, the company has already started cutting 10,000 jobs to try and recover from all their losses.

Shell's income in 2015 fell by 87 per cent year on year to US$1.96 billion, and their profit fell by 44 per cent as well.

Also one of their subsidiaries, Shell Overseas Holdings Limited (SOHL) recently announced that they reached a conditional agreement with Malaysia hengyuan International Limited (MHIL) for the sale of its 51 per cent shareholding in Shell Refining Company (SRC) in Malaysia for US$66.3 million (S$93.23 million), as reported by Deal Street Asia. SOHL first announced its intention to sell the entire 51 per cent stake on the 2nd of February, at a value far lower than the market price.

7. Devon Energy

Devon Energy Corporation happens to be one of the largest independent natural gas, natural gas liquids, and oil producers based in the United States. Given the falling prices, they also announced that they would be retrenching 20 per cent of their staff in the first quarter of this year.

The company mentioned that 700 people would lose their jobs by the end of the Feb 18, 2016, and this is all in response to the current commodity price environment. This is their effort to reduce expenses in order to remain financially flexible and competitive, as reported by CBC.

8. Top Glove

Malaysian company Top Glove is currently the world's largest maker of natural rubber gloves with operations in 27 countries. The company announced that they would cut their foreign labour by 5 per cent due to rising costs and increasing automation.

Top Glove currently have 7000 foreign workers in employment, and this cut will allow them to keep costs at bay especially since the Malaysian government made a decision to raise minimum wages and to double the levy on foreign workers.

Malaysia recently announced raising annual level on foreign workers to RM2,500 (S$834) for those employed in the manufacturing, services and construction sectors, according to Nikki Asian Review.

Top Glove currently has a production capacity of 44 billion pieces and they plan to spend about RM200 million to further expand existing facilities and to build more factories.

Given that a significant number of people would be out of jobs this year, there would be a greater imperative and demand for those employees who have a wide range of skill sets. Companies often tend to spare employees who are more varied in terms of technical and soft skills as they're more valuable to the company.

Additionally, if an entire company shuts down, those who have multiple skills would be in a better position to pursue entrepreneurship or obtain another job quickly. So to market yourself better, equip yourself with these 10 skills that will give you an edge in 2016, and browse through these e-learning platforms to pick up new knowledge, and then head over to these job-hunting platforms.

8 questions to ask before quitting your job

  • While the prospect of a career move can feel exciting, motivating and refreshing, an impulsive or emotion-led decision to quit can spell disaster.
  • It's okay to consider quitting and moving on if there's an increasing number of cost-cutting measures and indications that your company is not doing well.
  • If you feel that you're not learning enough or taking on enough work responsibilities, speak to your boss about the possibility of handling more complex tasks.
  • If you've done that, and still feel there's no change, start looking for other options.
  • While we're not expecting you to be BFFs with your superior, you do need to have a good working relationship.
  • If you're not learning from them, it's an indication to move on before you become complacent or bitter.
  • If your actual job scope differs vastly from what you were led to expect, it might be best to quit before you get sucked into a position that will not make you happy.
  • Accepting a new job could mean an attractive pay rise, but you may be neglecting other factors like your career goals, which are equally important.
  • If money's the only reason you're thinking of switching things up, consider speaking to your boss about a possible salary adjustment before accepting a new job.
  • There's no such thing as a perfect job, so there are bound to be ups and downs. Whether it's a complicated project or an annoying colleague, consider if the issue can be resolved, and if you can turn the challenge into a learning opportunity.
  • Make sure your dissatisfaction is not just an emotional or reactive one.
  • Workplace friendships can make you a lot happier and more productive.
  • In truth, a diverse working environment can also broaden your horizons.
  • Ask where you'd like to be in one year's time in your current organisation. Are you on the verge of that big promotion? If so, don't let short-term gripes tempt you into making a quick getaway.

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