Cupertino Courier

Zoom, Impossible Foods, Rivian Auto slash jobs

5 more companies are reporting layoffs set to begin in April

- By George Avalos gavalos@ bayareanew­

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.

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