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Tim Cook’s no-layoff strategy wears thin as Apple presents some workers with a choice: Reapply for their job or get laid off

Things are cooking for Apple CEO Tim Cook. Emerging from a slow fiscal quarter due to slowing tech product demand and a sluggish economy, Apple is continuing to push for cost-cutting measures.

The latest: eliminating jobs across its development and preservation teams, the corporate retail division that oversees the maintenance and construction of Apple stores. Most employees in these departments are being asked to reapply for similar roles, employees told Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Those who don’t will be laid off and receive up to four months of severance pay, a source said, although they could be rehired in a contributor role for less pay.

It’s unclear how many roles are being eliminated, sources said, but it impacts those in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Apple did not respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

Apple has so far avoided the mass layoffs that have been sweeping the tech industry, largely because it didn’t go on a pandemic hiring binge the way that companies like Meta did. Cook has also taken several steps to slash budgets elsewhere to avoid putting full-time corporate workers on the chopping block, such as cutting his own CEO’s pay by 40%, delaying bonuses, pausing hiring, and minimizing travel.

“Apple is frugal by nature,” Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Shannon Cross told Fortune in March, adding that its strategy “comes down to the management’s stewardship of shareholder dollars and a tight focus on what growth opportunities to invest in."

The move comes after Cook began cracking down on corporate workers turning a blind eye to his hybrid mandate. Platform’s Zoë Schiffer tweeted that some teams said failure to comply could lead to termination, though it's not a companywide policy. Apple is also reportedly tracking its employee attendance through badge records and issuing warnings to those who aren’t coming in as much, she added.

While Cook is describing the job cuts as a streamlining effort, it seems that he’s gradually bringing down the hammer at Apple.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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