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Zoom lays off 15% of its workforce, citing ‘mistakes’

Zoom is cutting its workforce by 15%, equal to about 1,300 jobs at the company.

The online videoconferencing firm began business in 2011 but experienced a massive boost in business in 2020 as the pandemic prompted an uptick in working from home.

In a blog post announcing the layoffs, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan noted that the California-headquartered company “needed to staff up rapidly” during the early days of COVID-19, with its staff count tripling in size to deal with the increased demand.

But Yuan added that his company had made mistakes as it “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.”

He said that while people and businesses continue to rely on Zoom, “the uncertainty of the global economy, and its effect on our customers, means we need to take a hard — yet important — look inward to reset ourselves so we can weather the economic environment, deliver for our customers, and achieve Zoom’s long-term vision.”

U.S.-based Zoom staff who are losing their positions at the company will receive up to 16 weeks’ salary and healthcare coverage, as well as bonus payments based on company performance. Those outside the U.S. will receive similar support, though it may vary slightly according to local laws.

Yuan said that as the CEO and founder of Zoom, he feels accountable for the company’s recent mistakes and so he will cut his salary for the coming fiscal year by 98% and forego his annual bonus. Members of Zoom’s executive leadership team, too, will reduce their base salaries by 20% for the coming fiscal year and will also not take their bonuses.

Zoom’s layoffs are just the latest in a tech industry impacted by challenging economic conditions. Just a few days ago, for example, computer giant Dell said it was laying off 6,650 people, and before that Microsoft, Google, Meta, and Amazon, among others, all announced significant reductions to their staff counts.

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Trevor Mogg
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