In Tech’s New World, Layoffs and Buybacks Are In, Mergers Are Out

Silicon Valley could use a reboot. The biggest players aren’t growing, and more than a few are seeing sharp revenue declines. Regulators seem opposed to every proposed merger, while legislators push for new rules to crack down on the internet giants. The Justice Department just can’t stop filing antitrust suits against Google. The initial public offering market is closed. Venture-capital investments are plunging, along with valuations of prepublic companies. Maybe they should try turning the whole thing on and off.

The only strategy that seems to be working is to lay people off. Tech CEOs suddenly are channeling Marie Kondo, tidying up and keeping only the people and projects that “spark joy,” or at least support decent operating margins. reports that tech companies have laid off more than 122,000 people already this year.