Apple is reportedly cutting back on hiring plans in the new year, in the wake of disappointing holiday season iPhone sales.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, made the disclosure to employees earlier this month in a meeting the day after he penned a letter to investors about the company’s recent struggles, particularly in China. During the meeting, Cook was asked if the company would impose a hiring freeze in response. He said he didn’t believe that was the solution. Instead, Cook said some divisions would reduce hiring, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.
Cook said Apple had not yet determined which divisions would be cutting back on hiring, but some groups, such as the company’s artificial intelligence team, would continue to expand. Cook also reassured employees saying a division’s importance to the future of Apple is not measured through hiring rates.
No word on how extensive the hiring reduction might end up being, but new offices in the planning stages for Austin, Texas and Los Angeles will not be affected. Apple added 9,000 new employees in 2018. A recent SEC filing indicates Apple currently employs a total of 132,000 folks. That number includes its retail locations.
Apple is expecting revenue of $84 billion for fiscal Q1 2019, down from a previous estimate of $89 to $93 billion. That’s a $4.3 billion drop from the year-ago quarter.