Multinational banking giant Morgan Stanley recently cut around 2% of its workforce, upwards of 1,600 employees, multiple sources told CNBC on Tuesday.
The firings reportedly targeted every part of the bank, except financial advisers in the wealth management division, and come as large companies continue slashing overhead amid fears of an imminent economic recession.
It also means Morgan Stanley, who last fired under-performers in 2019, will join Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Barclays in finally returning to the annual practice temporarily put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CEO James Gorman downplayed the move last week at the Reuters NEXT conference, confirming that "modest cuts" would come soon without disclosing a timetable or how many would be terminated.
"Some people are going to be let go," Gorman said. "We're making some modest cuts all over the globe. In most businesses, that's what you do after many years of growth."
According to a report cited by the Daily Mail, U.S.-based employers' announced cuts jumped 13% to 33,843 in October, the highest since February 2021. Just last week, AMC Networks revealed that it would eliminate close to 20% of its U.S. workforce.
Layoffs have specifically appeared to hit tech giants and internet-based retailers the hardest. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees on Wednesday that it would fire 11,000 people, about 13% of its workforce.
"Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected," Zuckerberg stated of his previous aggressive hiring. "Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ad losses have caused our revenue to be much lower than I'd expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that."
A source also told the Mail that Amazon plans to let approximately 10,000 workers go in its retail and human resources departments, adding to existing cuts in the company's devices group.
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