Zoom is laying off about 15 percent of its staff, which means about 1,300 people will lose their jobs, according to a memo from Zoom CEO Eric Yuan that the company posted on its blog. “Each organization” at the company will be affected by the cuts, Yuan said.
The company scaled up rapidly as people shifted to remote work during the pandemic, and Zoom grew three times in size within 24 months. However, “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,” Yuan wrote. “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.”
Zoom employees being laid off in the US will receive a severance package that includes up to 16 weeks’ salary and healthcare coverage. Outside the US, severance will be “similar and will take into account local laws,” according to Yuan.
Like many other CEOs, Yuan says he holds himself accountable “for these mistakes and the actions we take today” and announced he’s reducing his salary by 98 percent for the rest of the year. He also won’t take a corporate bonus and says that the rest of the executive leadership team will do the same, and they are reducing their base salaries by 20 percent.
Zoom is far from the only company to say it grew too much during the pandemic. Meta, Google, Spotify, Patreon, Peloton, and others have all cited their previous hiring sprees as the reason for layoffs. The cuts at Zoom, however, are quite deep and may be a sign that the company is very worried about its future.
That might be in part because Zoom is facing increased competition from apps like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, which have significantly improved over the past few years. As companies are looking for ways to cut costs, Zoom might be on the chopping block in favor of other conferencing options that are already included with workplace software packages. Zoom has been trying to fashion itself as more of an all-purpose tool by integrating features like email, calendars and updates to its Slack-like tool, but it appears those changes may not have been enough.
Zoom will be announcing its earnings for the last year on February 27th.