After announcing an expansion plan last year, Walmart Inc. has decided to pull back on its footprint by closing three of its eleven US technology hubs and forcing affected employees to relocate.
Last week, Global Chief Technology Officer Suresh Kumar announced in a memo that the company’s tech offices in Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Carlsbad, California, would be closing. Employees in the technology sector will be required to spend at least two days per week in the office, though some positions may eventually be made available for remote work.
A Walmart spokesman said in a statement on Monday, “We’ve made the decision to focus the presence of our tech team within select locations.” Each of our impacted employees will be offered a new position elsewhere, or the option to work remotely.
The decision comes in the wake of layoffs at other major tech firms such as Microsoft Corp., Google (part of Alphabet Inc.), and Meta Platforms Inc. It also coincides with a trend in recent years of employers demanding more “face time” from their staff.
Less than a year after CEO M. Venkat Kumar announced plans to open two new tech hubs in Atlanta and Toronto and hire five thousand people to work in cybersecurity, software engineering, data science, and other areas, Walmart is closing the three hubs. More than 20,000 people were employed across the globe in the company’s tech operation as of March.
Employees of the tech centres that Walmart is shutting down will be relocated at the company’s expense. A severance package will be offered to those who resign as a result of this decision, as stated in the internal memo. The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the shake-up in the technology department’s office.