Navigating Redundancies in the Tech Sector

A Guide for Product Leaders and CPOs

Not a day goes by where I do not see colleagues past and present posting news of their redundancies or lay offs. As the economic uncertainty, rise of AI and reassessment of company’s orgs continues to bite at the tech sector what can you do if you’re suddenly facing this situation?

So far 222 tech companies have laid off a total over 56000 workers in 2024 ( Do not underestimate the effect of AI – whilst many have dismissed AI ‘taking our jobs’ as nonsense, the reality is that companies are looking to drive efficiencies, curious of how AI MIGHT leverage cost cutting measures. You only have to look at Klarna as an example where they were able to attach numbers to savings gained by an AI bot developed by the company. In just one month their ChatGPT styled bot managed two-thirds of customer service chats, 2.3 million conversations in 23 markets and 35 languages. Not only did Klarna estimate that profits would increase by $40 million as a result of this but it also said that the AI tool was doing the work of 700 full time employees.

Understanding the Landscape

Before delving into strategies for handling a redundancy, it’s essential to recognise the current landscape of the tech industry. In 2024, the market is particularly tough, with increased competition, rapid technological advancements, and economic uncertainties. According to a report by Statista, redundancies in the tech sector have been on the rise, with several prominent companies announcing workforce reductions in recent years.

In short, it is super tough out there. Everyday I see smart people ‘open to work’ on LinkedIn, unable to easily find a new role.

Embracing Resilience

When faced with a redundancy, it’s natural to experience a range of emotions, including shock, disappointment, and even anger. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge these feelings while also embracing resilience. Resilience allows you to bounce back from setbacks, adapt to change, and pursue new opportunities with determination.

Take inspiration from individuals like Bethanye McKinney Blount, who was famously made redundant from her role as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Reddit. Instead of letting the redundancy define her, Blount went on to co-found a successful startup, PlayFab, which was later acquired by Microsoft. Her resilience and determination to turn adversity into opportunity serve as a powerful example for product leaders facing similar challenges. I’m not saying this is something you want to or could mirror but take small steps on building your self-esteem and value.

Leveraging Your Network

One of the most valuable assets you have as a product practitioner is your professional network. In times of uncertainty, reaching out to former colleagues, mentors, and industry contacts can provide invaluable support, guidance, and potential leads for new opportunities. Do not THINK about doing this – actually make a point of creating a list and ticking off who you have approached. This is not the time to be shy, you never know who might be hiring.

Brian Acton, who co-founded WhatsApp before its acquisition by Facebook is a great example of someone who aggressively used his network to turn his fortunes around. After leaving Facebook due to disagreements over data privacy and monetisation, Acton utilised his network to explore new ventures. He eventually invested in and co-founded Signal, a secure messaging platform that has gained popularity worldwide. Acton’s ability to leverage his network and pivot towards a new endeavour demonstrates the importance of staying connected and open to new possibilities.

I co-founded a company many years ago by simply reaching out to someone on a whim. I had no idea that months later I would be involved in a brand new start up. You make your own luck!

Investing in Continuous Learning

The tech industry is known for its fast-paced nature and constant evolution. As a product person or leader, investing in continuous learning and skill development is essential for staying relevant and competitive in the job market. Do not think that if you’re a CPO or VP you know it all. You most certainly do not. And I’m not talking vision tech pieces or strategies – you’ll need to understand what BI tools or design tools your teams might be using in order to keep ahead amongst a whole lot of other things! Be humble, keep learning and you’ll reap the dividends.


While facing a redundancy in the tech sector can be daunting, it’s essential to approach the situation with resilience, resourcefulness, and a proactive mindset. By leveraging your network, embracing continuous learning, and remaining open to new opportunities, you can navigate this challenging period and emerge stronger than before.

Remember, setbacks are often the catalysts for growth and innovation.

However, for some, the desire to continuously chase an ever increasingly hard market might be too much. You may find yourself at your wits’ end – exhausted from countless interviews and presentations or tasks just to get your foot in the door. I see a lot of exasperated posts in my network of individuals in this situation as well as those over 45 who find ageism is now a real thing in recruitment.

It might be time to examine your passions or change career. The most important thing is to try to find something you love doing everyday. If you are rubbing up against tech jobs the wrong way then it might not be for you and it could be time for a change.

I also wanted to extend a hand for those who might want a chat – you never know how I might be able to help, simply drop me an email or book a call.