San Francisco Chronicle

Zoom laying off about 1,300 employees

- By Chase DiFelician­tonio Reach Chase DiFelician­tonio: Chase.DiFelician­tonio@sfchronicl­ Twitter: @ChaseDiFel­ice

Zoom, the San Josebased videoconfe­rencing software company that became ubiquitous during the pandemic, said Tuesday it would lay off 1,300 employees, or around 15% of its workforce.

The cuts are the latest among Bay Area tech companies large and small that have slashed staff — many after going on hiring sprees during the past few years.

In a message to employees posted on the company’s site, CEO Eric Yuan said like many other tech companies, Zoom staffed up during the pandemic to meet skyrocketi­ng demand for its services, tripling in size.

“We worked tirelessly and made Zoom better for our customers and users. But we also made mistakes,” Yuan wrote. “We didn’t take as much time as we should have to thoroughly analyze our teams or assess if we were growing sustainabl­y, toward the highest priorities.”

While many companies and people still rely on Zoom, global economic uncertaint­y and its effect on customers meant the company would need to make hard decisions, Yuan wrote.

Unlike other tech CEOs who recently announced large rounds of layoffs while claiming responsibi­lity for cuts, Yuan said he and his executive team would slash their own pay for the current fiscal year.

“I am reducing my salary for the coming fiscal year by 98% and foregoing my FY23 corporate bonus,” Yuan wrote. “Members of my executive leadership team will reduce their base salaries by 20% for the coming fiscal year while also forfeiting their FY23 corporate bonuses.”

The CEOs of Google parent Alphabet, which announced 12,000 job cuts last month, and computing giant Microsoft, which slashed 10,000 roles in January, both said they took responsibi­lity for the decisions that led to the cuts, but did not announce changes to their own compensati­on packages.

In his letter, Yuan said departing employees would receive up to 16 weeks of pay and health care coverage, bonuses based on the company’s performanc­e this fiscal year, and some stock options.

The California Employment Developmen­t Department said a WARN notice, which companies must file with state and local officials when they undertake a layoff of a certain size, was not available. Companies will at times announce a layoff and file the notices later based on employees’ actual separation date.

 ?? Justin Sullivan/Getty Images ?? Zoom, headquarte­red in San Jose, said it staffed up when the pandemic hit in order to meet demand.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Zoom, headquarte­red in San Jose, said it staffed up when the pandemic hit in order to meet demand.

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