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Microsoft-owned GitHub cuts over 140 jobs in India engineering team

Employees Offered Two Months' Pay as Severance Package with Non-Disclosure Agreement

29 March 2023


Jayashri Ghorpade

India produced 3X more unicorns than China in 2022.png

    As part of the reorganization plan announced in February, GitHub laid off 140 employees.

  • As part of the severance package, the affected employees were offered two months' pay and required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

  • As part of its plan to reduce its workforce, Microsoft announced earlier this year that it would cut approximately 10,000 jobs, resulting in layoffs at its R&D divisions in Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft, has joined the growing list of tech companies that have laid off employees, as the open source developer platform has let go of its entire engineering team in India. The layoffs affected over 140 employees, and reports suggest that performance was not a factor. Those affected were given a severance package of two months' pay, but were required to sign a stringent non-disclosure agreement.

The company confirmed the reduction in workforce in a statement, stating that it was a part of the reorganization plan that was shared in February. The spokesperson said that difficult but necessary decisions and realignments were made to safeguard the health of the business in the short term and enable investments in the long-term strategy. The spokesperson further referred to the statement made on February 9th for more details on the plan.

In February, GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft, declared that it would lay off 10% of its workforce and switch to fully remote operations by closing all its physical offices. This was part of a cost-cutting exercise that included a hiring freeze announced in January. GitHub was founded in 2008 by Chris Wanstrath, PJ Hyett, Tom Preston-Werner, and Scott Chacon, and Microsoft acquired the company in 2018 for INR $7.5 Bn.

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In 2020, the open source software development platform, GitHub, launched its India-based subsidiary, GitHub India Private Limited, in an effort to attract more developers and enterprise customers from the country. Additionally, last year, GitHub made its developer platform, GitHub for Startups, available in India, providing eligible startups in India and globally with up to 20 seats of GitHub Enterprise free for one year, as well as support and guidance from GitHub technical experts.

Amidst fears of an upcoming recession, the tech industry globally has been hit hard by the global macroeconomic crisis, resulting in enterprise customers cutting down their spending. This unfortunate scenario has coincided with the recent layoffs.

As part of its plan to layoff 10,000 employees globally, which amounts to about 5% of its workforce, Microsoft had earlier this year laid off employees in Hyderabad and Bengaluru at its India Development Centers, which house the company's research and development divisions.

Over the last few months, layoffs have been announced by global giants such as Meta, Amazon, Salesforce, and IT firm Accenture. The Indian startup ecosystem has also been impacted by the slowdown. According to Inc42's layoff tracker, Indian startups, including unicorns like BYJU'S, Chargebee, Cars24, LEAD, Ola, OYO, Meesho, and MPL, have laid off more than 23,000 employees since 2022.


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