Zoom, Impossible Foods, Rivian Auto slash jobs
5 more companies are reporting layoffs set to begin in April
Rivian Automotive and Impossible Foods have joined Zoom Video Communications in a fresh round of wrenching layoffs terminating the jobs of hundreds of Bay Area workers.
Including the Zoom layoffs in San Jose reported by this news organization last week, nearly 700 jobs in the Bay Area are being eliminated, WARN notices filed with the state Employment Development Department (EDD) show.
The most recent job cuts revealed by the EDD include:
• Rivian Automotive, 240 layoffs at multiple sites in Palo Alto. The maker of electric vehicles expects the job terminations will occur around April 14. The WARN notice details the local effects of staffing cutbacks Rivian announced a few weeks ago.
• Impossible Foods, 132 job cuts in Oakland and Redwood City. The maker of plant-based foods didn't specify how many workers would lose their positions in the respective cities. The cutbacks are scheduled for April 11.
• Usertesting, 63 job cuts in San Francisco. The software company expects the layoffs will occur around May 1.
• Masterclass (owned by Yanka Industries), 38 staffing reductions in San Francisco. The layoffs are expected to occur around April 29.
• Aerovironment, 17 layoffs in Petaluma. The company makes unmanned aircraft vehicles and systems for the military and other customers. The job cuts are anticipated to take place around April 25.
• Zoom, 199 job cuts in San Jose. The Zoom layoffs became effective on Feb. 7.
The job cuts were triggered by an array of factors that differed for each company.
Rivian Automotive has struggled to meet its targets to manufacture electric vehicles. The company also has been forced to confront fierce competition and price cuts orchestrated by rivals such as Tesla and Ford.
San Jose-based Zoom epitomizes two waves of dramatic economic shifts that were ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic. When the pandemic was at its worst, Covid-linked shutdowns unleashed unprecedented demand for products, services and software systems to enable people to work, learn, meet and communicate from remote sites.
“Over the past few years, Zoom has become an indispensable source of connection for businesses and individuals as well as a globally recognized brand,” Eric Yuan, Zoom's chief executive officer, wrote in an open letter to the company's employees to sketch out plans for the layoffs.
But a growing number of workers worldwide have begun to return to their offices and increased in-person meetings and collaborations. That trend has reduced the need for tech systems and devices that allow people to communicate remotely.
As a result, demand has waned for Zoom's products and services — and lessened Zoom's staffing needs.