Round-Up of Global Tech Layoffs due to COVID-19
The COVID-19 global pandemic has placed everything to a halt, including the global operations of tech companies. Some even have declared layoffs in the workforce to cope up with the economic consequences that the situation continuously brings. As the current health crisis catapulted the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, we summarized the current situation on struggling tech companies in these trying times.
The action camera brand, according to the reports from Bloomberg, cuts more than 200 jobs and withdraws financial guidance to decrease costs by USD 100 million. It means that GoPro products will now be exclusively available online through its website, retaining few distributions on retail outlets at selected regions. GoPro clarifies that changes in operations won’t affect its scheduled launch of new products for 2020.
By the end of April 2020, the Seattle-based tech giant lets go of more than 3,200 drivers who deliver Amazon packages across the United States. In recent months, Amazon’s third-party delivery partners announced thousands of layoffs as the company significantly shift from large logistics solutions to small-scale delivery contractors. However, hiring is still open for 175,000 full and part-time positions to fulfill the growing demands of its customers for essential products.
Tesla has implemented cost-cutting measures effective April 13, 2020. Among the measures include the furloughing of all non-essential employees until May 4 as the latest date. It also has deducted the salary of its employees by 10%. The pandemic forced Elon Musk to wind down the car production on its main headquarters in Fremont, California. Tesla also has yet to withdraw guidance it gave investors for 2020.
Just last week, the local reviews platform laid off 1,000 employees and furloughed 1,100 more. According to co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s partner businesses such as restaurants, fitness centers, and salons were greatly affected by the lockdown. It was the last resort of the company to ensure the company’s survival amid the health crisis. Aside from reducing server costs, pushing back dozens of projects, and revising the 2020 budget, Yelp also reduced 20%- 30% from the salaries of its executives. Stoppelman, on the other hand, chose not to receive his paycheck and not vest any of his 2020 stock awards for the rest of the year.
The lockdown and social distancing measures restrict the flocking of large groups in concerts, conventions, and events. As an events management service and as an online ticketing system provider for live events, the company needs to lay off about 45% (about 500) of its total employees. This has been, by far, one of the worst hits in the live events business caused by a pandemic. CEO Julia Hartz shared her statement last April 8 that employees who she had to let go received notification after the virtual company-wide meeting. Currently, Eventbrite has over 1,000 employees.
The Oakland-based photo editing app was also heavily affected by the economic downfall. From over 150 employees, it recently terminated 45 people from its workforce this week. Backed by venture capital, it was supposed to receive new investments as the company gained popularity from an Internet meme that describes girls who post artsy photos edited from VSCO. The team provides 7-week severance pay and 2 months of health coverage for its laid-off employees.
The electric scooter company bid goodbye to about 406 employees (about 30% from its manpower) via Zoom call. The call, which was hosted by an unknown Bird executive, only lasted for only 2 minutes instead of the scheduled 30-minute call on the company’s calendar. Managers did not call their subordinates for further instructions too. During the short call, the employees were locked out of their work emails and Slack accounts. Bird received negative comments on social media, with netizens criticizing the way it handled the situation. CEO Travis Vanderzanden tweeted that the live Zoom call had just turned off video to be “more humane”.
Following the steps of other startups, the travel booking platform also delivered the bad news to its 297 employees via Zoom last March 24. A big chunk of the employees who lost their jobs was from customer support, recruitment, and sales departments. Chief executive Ariel Cohen initiated calls over Zoom in groups that were sorted per team. Laid-off workers also had a one-on-one conversation with their managers to discuss severance packages. The company also cut back its budget despite its recently acquired debt financing and funding.
There you have it. This just goes to show that even big companies are affected by the pandemic and we hope that businesses, big or small, recover soon and secure more jobs.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.