Big Tech wipeout — No more Fridays — Founder fraud

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Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. This is Insider Weekly, a roundup of our top stories. 

On the agenda today:

Breaking news this morning: At least 10 people have died at a mass shooting at a Lunar New Year celebration in California, police confirmed to Insider. This is a developing story. Follow our coverage here.

Up first: I just returned to New York after a few days in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. It was intense and informative, packed with meetings with business leaders and government ministers from around the world. I also moderated a panel about the industrial metaverse.

I posted a few videos and notes on LinkedIn, if you want a behind-the-scenes look at the meeting. I've also written a short dispatch about my takeaways below.

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Dispatch from Davos

An arial view of Davos, Switzerland with less snow than usual.

More than 1,500 business leaders descended on Davos in the Swiss Alps last week. I was there to take it all in. After meetings with senior figures in business and government, plus panel discussions and dinner conversations, here are my tweet-length takeaways:

  • Sustainability: Climate change, sustainability, and the energy transition were front of mind. There's consensus on what needs to happen. But the "how" is still a work in progress.

  • AI: The viral popularity of ChatGPT has moved AI to the mainstream. Many marveled at the potential, some expressed concern over the risks, and Microsoft rivals gritted their teeth whenever the buzz came up. 

  • Economy: I sensed a subtle shift in the mood. The reopening of China and a potential thawing of US-China relations, plus signs of slowing inflation in the US, had attendees feeling a little less negative.

  • Future of work: The right approach to remote work is still a mystery. In the meantime, there are dire predictions for office buildings.

I'll be writing more on these topics in the coming days, so keep an eye out. And let me know if you have any questions about the mood among the business elite:

Tech's week from hell

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Interacts With Students At SRCC Campus in India.

It was a wipeout at Silicon Valley's tech giants this week. On Tuesday, Insider's Ashley Stewart broke the news that Microsoft staffers were bracing for layoffs; the company announced 10,000 cuts the next day.

And layoff news percolated throughout the industry the rest of the week. On Wednesday, Insider's Kali Hays reported that Twitter is bracing for more layoffs, and Alphabet on Friday announced 12,000 job cuts at Google.

Then, of course, there's Amazon, which kicked off its largest job cuts in company history on Wednesday, affecting a whopping 18,000 people. Upon hearing the news, many staffers went to Slack to cobble together what was going on and which teams would be impacted the most. Insider obtained a list of more than 35 Amazon teams that were affected. 

Inside the tech industry's brutal job cuts.

Read more:

The rise and fall of Charlie Javice

Portrait of Charlie Javice on green background

Charlie Javice became a superstar in the world of finance when she was barely out of high school. But it all came crashing down — less than a year after selling her financial-aid startup, Frank, to JPMorgan for $175 million.

JPMorgan has slapped the 30-year-old entrepreneur with a massive lawsuit, claiming she defrauded investors by lying about the number of users on her service. In 2021, she claimed 4.25 million people were using Frank; in reality, it never had more than about 250,000 users. An Insider investigation reveals that Javice had a history of exaggerating her accomplishments.

Read the full story here.

No more working on Fridays

3d rendering of a building as a calendar

We just got the most convincing evidence yet that the four-day workweek is a positive change for employees. Thirty-three companies took part in a six-month trial of the policy — and all reported increased revenue and an improvement in employee well-being.

There were some other really interesting takeaways, like how small companies saw huge gains. One startup doubled its gross profits and productivity doubled over the trial period. 

More about the real-world experiment.

Read more:

We're facing the biggest financial crisis in history

Kevin McCarthy

The US technically hit its debt ceiling this past week — and failing to raise it by summer could imperil the entire financial system. Trouble is, the new GOP House majority is using the debt limit as leverage to push through their policy priorities, like cutting spending on Democratic favorites like Social Security and Medicare.

This has happened before. Republicans averted a debt crisis three times under former President Trump, and again two years ago. But with a Democratic White House, the GOP is playing hardball.

What happens if America stops paying its bills.

This week's quote:

"Unfortunately, your role has been eliminated. You are no longer required to perform any work on Amazon's behalf effective immediately." 

More of this week's top reads:

Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Dave Smith and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.

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