- Oracle laid off an unspecified number of people this week.
- The cuts happened across the company including in a segment of Oracle’s cloud business, according to online chatter.
- This is not unusual for Oracle, which has held major layoffs every year.
Oracle laid off an unspecified number of people this week. The company did not formally announce its restructuring plans, with no indication of how many jobs it would peel, and did not mention any planned cuts when it reported earnings last week.
The company told Business Insider it made the cuts to shift resources from older businesses into its all-important cloud-computing business.
“As our cloud business grows, we will continually balance our resources and restructure our development group to help ensure we have the right people delivering the best cloud products to our customers around the world,” the Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger told Business Insider.
While there was no formal announcement of who got cut, Business Insider has spoken to Oracle employees. And others have taken to the TheLayoff, an anonymous discussion board, to talk about their experiences. Because it's an anonymous message board, it's impossible to verify posters' connection to Oracle, but there's been an uptick in activity on the board timed with this news.
One source we spoke to was told by his manager that 1,500 people worldwide were cut. However, this isn't a verified number as Oracle has not formally announced or reported the number of jobs it cut.
Anonymous folks on that board are reporting dozens of cuts in various departments, including engineers working on some of the older cloud teams. For instance, one anonymous person said 43 people were cut at Oracle's Silicon Valley headquarters from the Oracle Management Cloud team.
Another reported that 32 engineers worldwide were let go from another Oracle Cloud Infrastructure team - specifically, those working on an older version of the cloud known internally as OCI Classic, or OCIC, according to a post on TheLayoff. Recently, the company announced "Gen 2" of the Oracle Cloud, and many of the engineers on that team are based in Seattle.
Another poster to TheLayoff reported 50 positions cut in corporate functions like marketing. One person tells us that many of the people, from managers to worker bees, who updated the Oracle.com website were cut. Yet another anonymous poster said cuts came to the New Hampshire crew working on Dyn, an internet security/infrastructure company Oracle bought in late 2016.
One TheLayoff poster discussed "an organization-wide email" that talked about how well Oracle's business was doing after it reported better-than-expected earnings last week - and contrasted that with hearing about the person's colleagues losing their jobs.
Yet another poster said that Don Johnson, the executive vice president of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, also sent out a team-wide email acknowledging that the cuts happened. In the email, the poster says, Johnson gave a pep talk about why the cuts were necessary to make the founder and chief technology officer Larry Ellison's vision for Gen 2 of the Oracle cloud a success. He then invited the team to attend an all-hands meeting scheduled for Friday.
Oracle declined to comment on any complaints over how the layoff was handled.
Layoffs are not an unusual occurrence at Oracle. In fact, the company has been reporting annual expenses associated with restructuring for years. A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission the company made in 2017 talked about these restructuring costs in 2013, 2015, and 2016 and mentioned plans for more in 2018.
Oracle is also in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, which is traditionally its biggest and most important. This is the quarter when its enormous sales force pushes to close deals and make their annual commission targets.
More broadly, Oracle is undergoing a massive shift as it pushes its customers to move from buying old-fashioned software to using its cloud services, and its revenue is reflecting that shift.
Though Oracle reported better-than-expected earnings last week, its revenue for the quarter of $9.61 billion was flat year-over-year, and the company has been promising to deliver double-digit non-GAAP profits in terms of earnings per share. Oracle has been closely managing its expenses to meet its promises around profitability, and non-GAAP numbers typically exclude costs associated with things like restructuring.
All of that means the start of the fourth quarter is the time for Oracle to make cuts, if they are necessary.
To be fair, Oracle isn't the only legacy tech company remaking itself into a shiny new cloud image and cutting employees to do so. SAP also had recent layoffs. IBM has been undergoing rolling layoffs for years. And HP cut tens of thousands of jobs and cleaved itself in two back in 2015.