Ebay, Google, Cruise. Here's an overview of Bay Area tech companies that recently executed a mass layoff.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Hundreds of Bay Area tech jobs are being cut this fall, continuing the trend of mass job losses this year, the latest WARN notices sent to the state Employment Development Department reveals.
January 2024 kicked off with dismal news from both Ebay and Google announcing layoffs of around 1,000 employees.
Ebay's CEO Jamie Iannone told employees in a memo Tuesday that this decision that would see 9% off its workforce go, was made so the company could be "more nimble." This round of cuts follows the loss of 500 jobs in February 2023.
Google's cuts reverberated across multiple divisions, including the hardware team responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit products as well as engineering and services. Google parent company Alphabet employed 182,381 employees as of September 30th, 2023, so this latest round of cuts would make around half a percent of the company's total workforce.
Cruise released a statement on Dec 14th that 900 employees or 24% of full time staff, primarily in operations and related corporate functions will be laid off with strong severance and benefits packages. Departing employees will remain on payroll through Feb. 12 and are eligible for an additional 8 weeks of pay, with long-term employees offered an additional 2 weeks' pay per every year at Cruise over 3 years.
Broadcom filed WARN notices that note at least 2,837 employees across multiple states will be laid off after it completes its acquisition of VMWare, with 1,267 of those jobs at its Palo Alto campus in California. WARN notices list the reason for the layoffs as "economic," but provide no further explanation or justification.
Roku, which has already had three previous rounds of mass layoffs in 2022 and 2023, told the EDD it has decided to slash an additional 136 jobs in San Jose, bringing the total to 636 jobs lost over the past 2 years.
Bloom Energy submitted that it was cutting 47 permanent roles as well as 50 contractors who were on assignment from staffing agencies.
Satellite imagery company Planet announced on August 1st, 2023 that it is laying off 117 employees, or around 10% of its workforce. In a CEO note, Planet CEO Will Marshall says the additional costs that came with expanding rapidly are no longer supported by the changing macroeconomic environment, and are therefore "making changes to prioritize our attention on the highest ROI opportunities for our business and mission, while reinforcing our path to profitability."
San Francisco-based video game maker Niantic, better known as the creator of Pokémon GO announced on June 29th, 2023 that it is laying off 230 employees or approximately a quarter of its workforce. The company said it was restructuring to rein in cost and concentrate on first party games on mobile. Pokémon GO will remain a top priority "forever game".
The bulk of cuts will come from closing its LA studio and reducing its game platform team, effectively ending production on games such as NBA All-World and Marvel: World of Heroes. This announcement comes a year after Niantic laid off around 90 workers and canceled multiple projects including a Transformer game.
On April 27th, 2023, Lyft employees received notification on their employment status after a note from new CEO David Risher a week earlier announced yet another round of cuts, this time an estimated 26% of current workforce or 1,072. This brings the combined estimated workers cut to 1806 or an estimated 34% of its original workforce from 2022.
While our layoff tracker below watches tech mass redundancies in the Bay Area, due to the magnitude of the cuts, it is worth noting retail tech giant Amazon has announced on Monday March 20, 2023 it was laying off an additional 9,000 employees, on top of the cuts to 18,000 positions that the company disclosed in January, bringing it to a total of 27,000.
This comes hot on the heels of a statement by Mark Zuckerberg a week before that Meta will lay off 10,000 more workers and incur restructuring costs ranging from $3 billion to $5 billion.
On March 29 2023, Electronic Arts announced a restructuring plan through an SEC filing that will see around 800 or 6% of its staff let go.
On February 7 2023, Zoom announced it was laying off 1,300 or 15% of its staff.
On the same day, Ebay announced it was shaving off 4% of its workforce or 500 workers, to create "additional space to invest and create new roles in high-potential areas," according to Ebay CEO Jamie Iannone in an SEC filing.
On January 31st 2023, Paypal announced a round of layoffs, cutting 2,000 from its global workforce.
Google (parent company Alphabet), together with a long list of tech companies executing mass redundancies, announced on January 20th that it will lay off 12,000 or 6% of its global workforce.
Salesforce first announced layoffs of 1,090 workers in November and kicked off 2023 with another layoffs announcement in January of approximately 7,900 staff or 10% of its global workforce.
Including the most recent announcement by Salesforce, a growing list of companies have made second and third rounds of cuts. These include Stripe, which cut around 1,000 in November after laying off around 50 people (from TaxJar, a Stripe acquisition) earlier this year, and Lyft, which slashed 683 from its team after laying off 60 people in July. In May, Netflix cut 150 staff members from its workforce and laid off 450 more in June.
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Note: This tracker is developing and will be updated. Companies marked with an asterisk* reflect the total estimated number of staff laid off from multiple rounds of job cuts year-to-date in 2022. The dates mark the latest layoff announcement for all companies.
Here's a more in-depth look at the 14 largest layoffs in the Bay Area.
Staff cut: 21,000 or 13%
Meta announced it is laying off an additional 13% of its staff, or more than 10,000 employees. It would be the tech company's second round of cuts since November which saw 11,000 staff or around 13% of its workforce let go. Mark Zuckerberg, its chief executive, has declared 2023 the "year of efficiency." In a company letter to staff, Zuckerberg said "over the next couple of months, org leaders will announce restructuring plans focused on flattening our orgs, canceling lower priority projects, and reducing our hiring rates. With less hiring, I've made the difficult decision to further reduce the size of our recruiting team." According to the note, an additional 5,000 open positions will also close.
The first round of redundancies was similarly announced through a staff letter CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Nov. 3.
At its peak last year, Meta had 87,000 full-time employees. This calculates to a loss of around 24% of its global workforce from its peak numbers.
Staff cut: 13,000 or 6.5%
Reason: Hired too quickly restructuring post-pandemic
In one of the largest cuts made by a Bay Area tech company so far in 2023, Google joins the long list of tech companies executing mass redundancies, announcing on January 20th that it will lay off 12,000 or 6% of its global workforce.
In his email to staff, CEO Sundar Pichai says affected US employees will be paid during the full notification period (minimum 60 days). The company will also offer a severance package starting at 16 weeks salary plus two weeks for every additional year at Google, and accelerate at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting. Departing US employees will received their bonuses for 2022 and remaining vacation time. The company will also continue to provide 6 months of healthcare, job placement services, and immigration support for those affected. Outside the US, the tech giant will support employees in line with local practices.
Almost a year later, on January 11th 2024, another 1000 workers from multiple divisions across Alphabet's engineering and services team were laid off.
Staff cut: 8890
The tech giant in November 2022 first announced layoffs of 1,090 workers and kicked off 2023 with another layoffs announcement, this time 10% of it's estimated 79,000 global workforce through a letter from its Co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff.
In the U.S., affected employees will receive a minimum of nearly five months of pay, health insurance, career resources, and other benefits to help with the transition. According to Benioff's note, those outside the U.S. will receive a similar level of support, with the company aligning with local employment laws in each country.
Staff cut: 3,700 or 50%
Reason: New owner
After the deal to take over Twitter for $44 billion closed, the social media company's new owner, Elon Musk, fired Twitter's CEO along with several top executives. It was previously suggested he would cut 75% of its pre-takeover workforce. He has since walked that notion back but the company did announce layoffs to half its workforce, with smaller cuts for the team responsible for preventing the spread of misinformation.
According to tweets by Musk, everyone affected was offered three months of severance pay, "Unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day."
Staff cut: 2,000 or 7%
Reason: Macroeconomic environment
On Jan 31, Paypal announced 2000 staff or 7% of its global workforce would be laid off to downsize in a challenging market.
"Over the past year, we made significant progress in strengthening and reshaping our company to address the challenging macro-economic environment while continuing to invest to meet our customers' needs. While we have made substantial progress in right-sizing our cost structure, and focused our resources on our core strategic priorities, we have more work to do. We must continue to change as our world, our customers, and our competitive landscape evolve," President and CEO Dan Schulman says in a letter to employees.
In his memo, Schulman says departing staff will be provided "with generous packages, engage in consultation where required, and support with their transitions."
Staff cut: 1806 or 34%
Reason: Cost-cutting to be more competitive
Lyft confirmed a third round of layoffs since 2022 in April 2023, this time shedding 1072 positions, or 26% of its current workforce. It also announced it will freeze hiring for 250 open positions and keep them unfilled.
This bring the total estimated number of workers made redundant at Lyft to 1,806 or 34% of its workforce since mass layoffs at the ride-hailing company began in 2022.
David Risher, the new CEO at Lyft said in a company note , "We need to be a faster, flatter company where everyone is closer to our riders and drivers so we can deliver on this purpose. And we need to bring our costs down to deliver affordable rides, compelling earnings for drivers, and profitable growth. We intend to use these savings to invest in competitive pricing, faster pick-up times, and better driver earnings. All of these require us to reduce our size and restructure how we're organized."
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Nov. 3, Lyft said 683 employees would be let go as part of a restructuring plan to combat a probable recession and worsening economic conditions.
Those leaving can expect ten weeks of pay, healthcare coverage through next April, accelerated equity vesting and recruiting assistance. Staff who have worked at the company for four years or more will be given an extra four weeks salary.
This is yet another round of layoffs since the San Francisco-based rideshare company laid off 60 employees in July 2022, after winding down its in-house car rental division and in November 2022 where 683 workers were already let go.
Staff cut: 1,250 or 6%
Reason: Streamlining headcount from COVID-19 pandemic, operating expense outpacing revenue growth
During the pandemic with most isolating and not leaving their homes, DoorDash sped up hiring to meet the explosive demand for its food delivery service. However, that demand has tapered and the company is now looking to cut cost.
"While our business continues to grow fast, given how quickly we hired, our operating expenses - if left unabated - would continue to outgrow our revenue," DoorDash CEO Tony Xu said in a note released to staff on Nov. 30.
Impacted staff will receive 17 weeks (13 weeks + 1 four-week lump sum severance pay) of compensation, as well as a February 2023 stock vest. All health benefits will continue through March 31, 2023. Those laid off will also receive immigration support, with the company setting the termination date for March 1, 2023, giving those with visa applications (and a desire to stay in the US) as much time as possible to find a new job.
Staff cut: 1160 or 18%
San Francisco based crypto company Coinbase continues shedding headcount, cutting an additional 60 workers in November after losing an initial 1,100 -- 18% of its workforce -- in June 2022 through a CEO letter.
Coinbase CEO and Cofounder Brian Armstrong attributes the cuts to growing too quickly and the need to manage costs in down markets.
Transaction revenue fell 44% compared to the second quarter with fewer users active on the crypto exchange, according to the company's earnings report. The stock is also down nearly 80% this year.
In the June message, Armstrong said affected members would get a minimum of 14 weeks of severance plus an additional 2 weeks for every year of employment beyond 1 year. U.S. staff will also get four months of health insurance.
Staff cut: 1,000 or 14%
Reason: Macroeconomic challenges
In his note to staff announcing the layoffs, Stripe CEO Patrick Collison said the company will cut staffing numbers by around 14%.
Collison cited macroeconomic headwinds such as stubborn inflation, energy shocks, higher interest rates, reduced investment budgets, and sparser startup funding as the challenges that face the business.
"Around 14% of people at Stripe will be leaving the company. We, the founders, made this decision. We overhired for the world we're in...and it pains us to be unable to deliver the experience that we hoped that those impacted would have at Stripe," he said.
The company will pay 14 weeks of severance for all departing employees, and more for those with longer tenure. Those departing will be paid until at least February 21, 2023.
All departing staff will still receive their 2022 annual bonus regardless of their departure date. It will be prorated for people hired in 2022.
The company has also promised to pay the cash equivalent of six months of existing healthcare premiums or healthcare continuation.
Earlier this year, Stripe was reported to have laid off an estimated 50 people from TaxJar, a tax compliance startup that it acquired in 2021.
Staff cut: 1000 or 29% (calculated from a combination of two rounds of staff cuts)
Reason: Cost-cutting/Macroeconomic challenges
Menlo Park-based online discount brokerage company Robinhood cut an estimated 1,000 workers over two layoffs. The first round of cuts were in April 2022 where the company cut 9% of its nearly 3,900 workforce. The latest cuts, announced through a letter from CEO Vlad Tenev on Aug 2, report that 23% of its total staff will be cut.
Tenev said in his blog post that earlier this year the company let go of 9% of the workforce "to focus on greater cost discipline throughout the organization. This did not go far enough."
"Since that time, we have seen additional deterioration of the macro environment, with inflation at 40-year highs accompanied by a broad crypto market crash. This has further reduced customer trading activity and assets under custody," he said.
Departing workers will be offered the opportunity to remain employed with Robinhood through October 1, 2022 and receive their regular pay and benefits, including equity vesting. They will also be offered cash severance, payment of COBRA medical, dental and vision insurance premiums and job search assistance -- including an opt-in Robinhood Alumni Talent Directory.
Staff cut: 900 or 11%
Reason: Grew too fast/ profitability concerns
In September, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson published a note to inform staff that a restructure would reduce Twilio's workforce by 11%.
The San Francisco-based cloud communications specialist had 8,199 employees as of March 31, 2022, according to a press release of its first quarter 2022 financial results.
"Twilio has grown at an astonishing rate over the past couple years. It was too fast, and without enough focus on our most important company priorities. I take responsibility for those decisions," Lawson said in his blog.
Impacted workers will receive 12 weeks of pay, plus one week for every year of service at Twilio. Departing staff can also expect to receive the value of Twilio's next stock vest.
Staff cut: around 800 or 6%
Redwood City headquartered videogame publisher Electronic Arts said on March 29 it will lay off about 6% or around 800 of its workforce and reduce office space. The company announced through an SEC filing, that a "restructuring plan focused on prioritizing investments to the Company's growth opportunities" has been put in place.
EA, which had about 12,900 staff as of March-end last year, expects to incur between $170 million and $200 million in charges related to its restructuring plan.
The actions associated with the plan are expected to be substantially complete by September 30, 2023.
Staff cut: 550 or 18%
Reason: Market downturn
Real Estate technology company Opendoor announced cuts to its workforce by 18% -- 550 workers -- on Nov. 3 through a note by co-founder and CEO Eric Wu. Wu said that "one of the most challenging real estate markets in 40 years" had spurred the need to adjust the business.
Prior to this layoff the proptech firm had already reduced capacity by over 830 positions, primarily by reducing third party resourcing and eliminating fixed expenses.
Affected workers will receive ten weeks of pay with an additional two weeks of pay for every full year beyond two years of tenure. Healthcare benefits will remain active for the rest of the month plus an additional three months of health insurance. Job transition support will also be offered by the firm.
Staff cut: 450 or 3%
Reason: Cost-cutting/slowing revenue growth
In June, Santa Clara-based streaming giant Netflix announced 300 jobs cut in a second round of layoffs as subscriptions fell and revenue slowed. This comes hot on the heels of the 150 workers already let go in May.
The company released a statement to staff that said, "While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we made these adjustments so that our costs are growing in line with our slower revenue growth."
Netflix stock is down 51.84% year-to-date as of Nov. 11.
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