If you look at current trends in the industry, there are quite a bit of layoffs going around. Companies like Google, Amazon, and Meta (Owner of Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp) just laid off tens of thousands of people. While we mostly know Adobe as the maker of creative tools, it is also considered a mega-tech company with lots of similarities to companies that are laying off employees. In fact, Adobe had its round of layoffs at the end of 2022.
Here is the thing, though. While some tech companies are said to be staging for a second round of layoffs (See Meta for example), Adobe’s Chief People Officer, Gloria Chen, just committed in a Bloomberg interview to “not having company-wide layoffs” in 2023.
Generally, this interview is a friendly interview about Adobe’s HQ extension in San Jose. But toward the end of the interview, Ed Ludlow pushes Ms. Chen about possible layoffs at Adobe in 2023. Ms. Chen answers without flinching that “We are committed to not having company-wide layoffs“. You can see this part of the interview at around 10:47 in the video below.
This is good news to Adobe’s people as the tech industry is getting shakier by the minute. It was only last weekend when SBV bank collapsed, leaving many high-tech companies high and dry.
Adobe, layoffs, and subscription models
In 2009 and 2011, Adobe executed two rounds of reduction in force of 680 and 750 employees, respectively. Shortly after, Adobe made a change in its software licensing model. It decided to replace priority (lifetime) licenses with a software-as-a-service model. That meant that instead of buying the software suite and owning it for life (and maybe updating here and there), customers needed to subscribe to Adobe’s software on a monthly or yearly basis.
For example, you would spend about $1,800 every three years if you opted for the all-apps suite. Apparently, it’s doing better than many other tech leaders between its Creative Cloud business, its document signing business, and its marketing software.