September 24, 2020

Layoff Watch ’20: Some KPMG IT Folks Were Told Their Services Are No Longer Needed

[Updated on June 23 with additional information.]

Another person who will be leaving KPMG involuntarily told us on Tuesday evening that Monday’s layoffs affected more than 350 people in the Digital Nexus group.

Fourteen people had over 25 years, I personally have been here for 19.

The 350 number came from my manager and several others who saw the list of terminated employees. I am one of four techs in our office.  Myself and one other were let go, effective July 5. Since KPMG will be closed next week for a summer vacation, essentially this Friday is our last day.

We haven’t been able to confirm that total number of people laid off yet with KPMG.

This person said the layoffs “came out of nowhere” and “totally blindsided” their manager and their manager’s manager.

We have been coming in every day since the COVID lockdown as we were deemed “essential employees” and were handling break/fix problems for the whole country. 2 of the 4 techs in my office have been let go. The positions range top to bottom, Directors down to associates.

There was a conference call with Dan Doherty [national managing partner, digital business transformation], stating that there would be personnel changes due to the rampup of Mexico and India. Shortly afterword, emails starting coming out to affected employees. It was expected that it would be easily off-shored positions like developers, but it came out of nowhere for people like myself that do hands-on repairs and other tasks that simply cannot be done elsewhere.

[Updated on Monday evening with additional comments.]

Here’s a not-so-fun tip that was sent to us a little while ago about some job cuts happening at KPMG today:

KPMG laying off a large number of people in its IT group (Digital Nexus) today. Part of an outsourcing program to move jobs to Mexico and India.

Let me interrupt our tipster for a moment. I honestly had no idea what KPMG Digital Nexus is so I looked it up. This is from a KPMG Campus brochure on business support services from July 2019:

KPMG Digital Nexus focuses on five major objectives: improve the operating performance of IT, accelerate the internal and market deployment of leading digital technologies, develop and implement a data strategy, strengthen our security controls to protect our information and data, and establish a new future-ready IT operating model for the firm.

OK? OK. Back to our tipster …

I’m one of the impacted employees. I don’t know how many are targeted, but all are supposed to be notified by email by COB today, and will be meeting with an HR rep between today and Friday.

I know of at least three in my group alone.

The layoffs are part of the “Demand Management Transformation” that is part of a larger effort to reduce the growth of IT spend. I did know that layoffs were coming due to this program. The firm was pretty transparent about that, but I had been told that our jobs were pretty safe as we were woefully undersized.

Our source said they believe the job cuts are firm-wide and added:

All new hires had to come from the outsourcing centers in Mexico & India, which are staffed by a 3rd party recruiting firm.

A KPMG spokesperson confirmed the job cuts this afternoon and sent us the following statement:

“We’ve had a long-standing and multiyear effort underway to transform certain business enablement areas of our firm to ensure we have the right skills and capabilities in the right positions. We started this transformation — which includes a realignment of our resources — nearly two years ago. These long-planned actions are unrelated to COVID-19 or the economy.”

That’s all we know for now. If you too have been told to hit the bricks, or know any additional information about the job cuts, get in touch with us using the contact info below.

[UPDATE] Heard from another person Monday evening who also was a casualty of the job cuts at KPMG yesterday. They reiterated what the other person told us this afternoon, that “we were told for months our group was safe as we are severely understaffed.”

This person added:

We all work remotely from different parts of the country. I’m not sure how many firmwide were let go. But our group has always been told we were safe from 2 levels above us, as we are severely understaffed already. My boss was not even aware I was being laid off. On Friday, we were told that the highest level manager (so 4 levels above me – actually a VP) was let go. We were told at that time by the next level manager below him that layoffs were starting at the highest levels and would not get down to our level.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

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