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Video conferencing star Zoom cuts staff by 15 percent

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Zoom Video Communications tripled its ranks of workers when its online conference platform boomed in popularity during the pandemic but the Silicon Valley-based tech firm is cutting staff to endure the current economic downturn./AFP
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Feb 08, 2023 - 09:53 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — The company behind the Zoom video conferencing platform — which became a household name during the pandemic — announced Tuesday it is laying off about 15 percent of its staff.

Zoom Video Communications chief executive Eric Yuan is also taking a 98 percent cut in salary this year and forgoing his executive bonus, he said in a blog post about the job cuts.

He added that members of his executive leadership team are taking a 20 percent salary reduction and also forfeiting bonuses this year.

While people and businesses continue to rely on Zoom “as the world transitions to life post-pandemic,” the Silicon Valley-based firm is seeing customers cut back on spending, Yuan said in the post.

Zoom has made the “tough but necessary” decision to lay off about 1,300 people, or roughly 15 percent of its staff, according to Yuan.

“Our trajectory was forever changed during the pandemic when the world faced one of its toughest challenges, and I am proud of the way we mobilized as a company to keep people connected,” Yuan said.

Zoom tripled its ranks of employees during the pandemic, as people used the platform for remote work, court hearings, social events and more while Covid-19 risks barred them from getting together in person, according to Yuan.

“We are seeing that people and businesses continue to rely on Zoom,” Yuan said.

“But the uncertainty of the global economy, and its effect on our customers, means we need to take a hard look inward to reset ourselves so we can weather the economic environment, deliver for our customers and achieve Zoom’s long-term vision.”

Zoom will continue to invest in strategic areas, the chief executive noted.

Zoom joined a growing list of US tech firms slashing jobs as years of high spending has given way to parsimony due to harsh economic conditions around the world.

American computer firm Dell said Monday that it will lay off some five percent of its global workforce, or around 6,650 employees.

The cuts follow similar steps by tech giants Microsoft, Facebook owner Meta, Google parent Alphabet, Amazon and Twitter as the industry girds for economic downturn.

They also come after a major hiring spree at the height of the coronavirus pandemic when companies scrambled to meet demand as people went online for work, school and entertainment.

According to the specialist site Layoffs.fyi, just over 95,000 tech employees have lost their jobs since the beginning of January worldwide.

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