Coinbase, PayPal, more Bay Area tech companies with layoffs – SFGATE

Between the historic hike of the federal interest rate, the crash and burn of crypto at large and the bear market making conditions unfavorable for once-bullish startup investors, tech, once flowing in cash, has felt the pinch acutely. Companies that had already laid individuals off at the onset of the pandemic or assured employees that they would not lay anyone off in recent weeks have cut their staffing drastically. 

From industry stalwarts to buzzy startups, here are all the high-profile San Francisco and Silicon Valley tech firms that have laid workers off in May and June this year. This list may be updated.

Coinbase

The cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced Tuesday, June 14, that it would lay off about 1,100 employees — nearly a fifth of its staff, locking out those who were laid off from Coinbase system. It’s the final culmination of the company’s reversal of fortunes; after its titanic Super Bowl ad blitz, it paused hiring and took back job offers. The layoffs also come at a time of internal challenges within the company, with an internal petition calling for the removal of three C-level executives.

“We would not be where we are today without your hard work and dedication to our mission,” CEO Brian Armstrong said.

A New York apartment available for rent on the San Francisco-based startup Sonder.

A New York apartment available for rent on the San Francisco-based startup Sonder.

Courtesy of Sonder

Sonder

Sonder, a San Francisco travel startup marketed as a more upscale alternative to Airbnb, announced June 8 it would lay off 21% of existing corporate positions. It went public in January, and in October of last year, was valued at $1.9 billion.

Stitch Fix

In a letter published on its website June 8, Stitch Fix CEO Elizabeth Spaulding announced that 330 positions — 15% of its salaried positions — would be cut, a casualty of the challenges of e-commerce after an incredibly lucrative pandemic period. The company is based in San Francisco.

“While this was an incredibly difficult decision, it was one we needed to make to position ourselves for profitable growth,” Spaulding wrote.

Carbon Health

On June 2, the San Francisco-based health care startup Carbon Health announced it would be laying off 8% of its “global workforce” — approximately 250 workers in total. The company is another pandemic success story, growing rapidly in 2021 in part due to its COVID-19 services, namely testing.

“The difficult actions we took were necessary to strengthen our position both financially and strategically for the future, and they set us up to deliver on that mission for our patients, providers, partners and employees,” CEO Eren Bali wrote in a statement.

Bolt

Bolt, the payment services startup with offices near San Francisco’s Union Square, laid off about 250 of its approximately 900 employees May 25 in a move to “secure our financial position, extend our runway, and reach profitability with the money we have already raised” amid industrywide financial challenges, according to a letter to staff. A Bolt spokesperson confirmed to SFGATE Thursday that “approximately a third of the company” was laid off.

PayPal's headquarters are in San Jose, Calif. 

PayPal’s headquarters are in San Jose, Calif. 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

PayPal

PayPal gave pink slips to 83 employees at its San Jose headquarters in April, a filing with California’s Employment Development Department showed, weeks before it planned to shutter its San Francisco offices. In May, the company also laid off workers in Arizona, Illinois and Nebraska, Gizmodo reported. The company said the office closure was unrelated to the layoffs.

SFGATE news editor Amy Graff contributed to this report.

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