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Is Uber planning layoffs? Here’s what its CEO said

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Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi on Thursday said he is not planning any company-wide layoffs. During an event organised by Wall Street Journal ahead of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, the CEO said that Uber has worked for months to cut costs, and early enough relative to others that a memo the CEO wrote on this tougher stance “landed a bit like a lead balloon initially,” Reuters reported.

This comes at a time when several big giants across major sectors have carried out layoffs to cut costs in this post-pandemic world. Uber’s direct competitor Ola reportedly laid off employees in what it calls a ‘restructuring exercise’. The company has fired employees from Ola Cabs, Ola Financial Services and Ola Electric. It has also offered severance packages as per the respective notice period.

On the other hand, social media platform Twitter is now planning to lay off 50 employees in the product division in the coming weeks, Reuters quoted news site Insider. This comes six weeks after Elon Musk told the staff that there would be no further layoffs.

After he took over Twitter in October last year, Musk had laid off 50 per cent of the company’s total workforce. Justifying his layoff move, the new owner had said that Twitter was facing “a massive drop in revenue” as advertisers dropped out.

Not just Twitter, technology giant Microsoft has announced it will lay off 10,000 workers, which is nearly five per cent of its total staff. In an internal email to his employees, chief executive Satya Nadella said he is confident that the company will emerge from the situation.

E-commerce platform Amazon is cutting some jobs in the United States, Canada and Costa Rica as part of its move to lay off 18,000 employees, Reuters reported.

The layoffs are the latest in the U.S. technology sector, with companies cutting their bloated workforce and slashing costs to reverse pandemic-era excesses and prepare for a worsening global economy.

The company is terminating 2,300 employees in Seattle and Bellevue, according to an update on the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) site.

(With Reuters, AFP inputs)


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German tech firms looking to hire laid off professionals in Silicon Valley

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Faced with a tight labour market and a shortage of workers with key software engineering skills, some German companies are looking at thousands of layoffs in Silicon Valley as an opportunity to recruit top talent.

The U.S. West Coast has always been the main destination for ambitious software engineers looking to work in the best-paid, most elite corner of their profession, but the mass redundancies have created a pool of jobseekers that Germany is eager to tap.

“They fire, we hire,” said Rainer Zugehoer, Chief People Officer at Cariad, the software subsidiary of automaker Volkswagen. “We have several hundred open positions in the U.S., in Europe and in China.”

Also Read: Zuckerberg’s Meta gearing up for more layoffs? This report suggests so

Spooked by inflation and the prospect of recession, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook owner Meta have announced a combined almost 40,000 job cuts.

While Germany is also teetering on the edge of recession, its companies have grown more slowly in recent years and, in a country notorious for still handling business by fax, there are huge technology leaps to be made.

Germany, with one of the world’s oldest populations, has gaping holes in its labour force: according to IT industry group Bitkom, 137,000 IT jobs are unfilled.

The government is simplifying immigration rules and dangling the prospect of easily-acquired citizenship to tempt skilled would-be immigrants, and regional authorities are pressing ahead.

Also Read: PagerDuty CEO quotes Martin Luther King Jr in layoff email, faces flak

“I would like to cordially invite you to move to Bavaria,” wrote Judith Gerlach, digitalisation minister in Germany’s wealthiest region on LinkedIn in a post addressed to the recently laid off.

Especially with the euro at dollar parity, few European companies pay rates that compete with the hundreds of thousands of dollars on offer at California’s most successful companies, but some hope cheaper healthcare and lower costs compared to hotspots like San Francisco can help.

“And did I mention Oktoberfest?” Gerlach added, adding Munich’s famed beer festival to the strong labour protections that might prove attractive to the newly jobless.

Some are sceptical, with Bitkom’s Bernhard Rohleder noting that Germany is competing not just with other countries for the most talented, but with potential recruits’ home countries too.

Germany’s penchant for red tape could be another challenge: companies are already reporting months-long delays in securing appointments for their new hires to get work permits.

“Bureaucracy in Germany is utterly crippling for most highly-qualified workers when they first encounter it, especially if they don’t speak German,” said Diana Stoleru of Berlin startup Lendis.

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Facebook seeks to block $3.7 billion UK mass action over market dominance

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Facebook on Monday asked a London tribunal to block a collective lawsuit valued at up to 3 billion pounds ($3.7 billion) over allegations the social media giant abused its dominant position to monetise users’ personal data.

Meta Platforms Inc, the parent company of the Facebook group, is facing a mass action brought on behalf of around 45 million Facebook users in Britain.

Read more: US’ Blinken urges Israelis, Palestinians not to ‘inflame tensions’

Legal academic Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, who is bringing the case, said Facebook users were not properly compensated for the value of personal data that they had to provide to use the platform.

Her lawyers said users should get compensation for the economic value they would have received if Facebook was not in a dominant position in the market for social networks.

But Meta said the lawsuit was “entirely without merit” and should not be allowed to proceed. Its lawyers said the claimed losses ignore the “economic value” Facebook provides.

Lovdahl Gormsen’s lawyers on Monday asked the Competition Appeal Tribunal to certify the case under the UK’s collective proceedings regime – which is roughly equivalent to the class action regime in the United States.

A decision to certify collective proceedings will depend on whether the tribunal decides that the individual cases can appropriately be dealt with together, rather than on their merits.

Read more: ‘More precisely…’: Kremlin fact-checks Boris Johnson’s claims on Vladimir Putin

Ronit Kreisberger, representing Lovdahl Gormsen, told the tribunal that “Meta’s data practices violate the prohibition on abusive conduct by dominant firms”.

“There is unquestionably a case for Meta to answer at trial,” Kreisberger argued.

But lawyers representing Meta said the lawsuit wrongly assumes that any “excess profits” it might make equates to a financial loss suffered by individual Facebook users.

This approach “takes no account whatsoever of the significant economic value of the service provided by Facebook”, Marie Demetriou said in court documents.

Read more: Covid still a global emergency: World health body

She said Lovdahl Gormsen’s estimate of potential claimants’ total losses – 3 billion pounds, including interest – is “at the very least wildly inflated”.

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Want to buy iPhone? This deal available on Flipkart for iPhone 14, 14 Plus

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For those looking to buy iPhone, an offer is currently available on Flipkart for iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, both of which were launched in September last year. On the e-commerce website, the former is listed for 65,999 (MRP: 79,900) and the latter, 74,999 (MRP: 89,900).

Customers, however, save 13,901 (iPhone 14) and 14,901 (iPhone 14 Plus) without an exchange offer. With exchange offer, on the other hand, they get to save up to 21,400 on each device.

iPhone 14 and 14 Plus: Features

Both smartphones operate on Apple’s in-house A15 Bionic chipset, with 5-Core GPU and 16-Core NPU for graphics. The two also come with a Face ID sensor and, for connectivity, features such as 5G, Wi-Fi, two sims, Bluetooth, GPS, lighting port (for charging) etc.

For photography, meanwhile, there is a dual camera setup on the rear, and each camera has an LED flash. The setup comprises of a 12 MP primary wide-angle sensor and an ultra-wide-angle sensor, also of 12 MP. For selfies, there is a 12 MP front camera.


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