Discover the companies that laid off the most employees last week, May 8
Paramount Global is laying off 25 percent of its domestic team due to the integration of Showtime into its cable and streaming operations, resulting in the consolidation of functions and teams. The majority of the cuts are affecting the "networks" group, with certain units like MTV News being shut down completely. The decision was influenced by broader economic challenges and the need to reduce costs. The recent quarter's poor earnings and a decline in TV ad revenue further contributed to the layoff. Paramount Global had 24,500 employees as of the end of 2022. The CEO, Chris McCarthy, acknowledged the success in streaming but mentioned the pressure faced by Paramount from economic headwinds. The memo expresses gratitude to the affected employees and assures a respectful and empathetic process during this difficult time.
LinkedIn, the social media network owned by Microsoft, has made the decision to lay off 716 employees and shut down its China-focused job application due to fluctuating demand and a weakening global economic outlook. LinkedIn aims to streamline its operations and make quicker decisions by reducing roles in its sales, operations, and support teams. This move comes amidst a wave of layoffs in the tech sector, with over 270,000 tech jobs globally being cut in the past six months. LinkedIn will continue to have a presence in China to assist companies operating there, but its slimmed-down jobs app will be phased out. Microsoft itself has announced approximately 10,000 job cuts in recent months.
Novavax, a Maryland-based vaccine company, has decided to lay off 25% of its workforce, amounting to around 500 employees, in order to align its spending with the shrinking COVID-19 market. Novavax experienced rapid growth, increasing its head count from 165 in early 2020 to nearly 2,000 in February this year, as it pursued the COVID-19 vaccine opportunity. However, with competitors like Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech dominating the market, Novavax has been forced to streamline its operations. The layoffs primarily affect full-time employees, particularly in research and development (R&D), as Novavax aims to reduce its R&D and administrative expenses by 20% to 25% this year and by 40% to 50% in 2024. Despite the need for financial support to further develop its combined COVID-influenza vaccine, Novavax's remaining employees will focus on delivering an updated COVID-19 shot for the fall vaccination season, with top-line results from its phase 3 strain change trial expected in mid-2023 and a planned U.S. approval filing in the second half of the year.
Swedish electric vehicle (EV) maker Polestar announced a 10% reduction in its workforce due to a delayed production start for its Polestar 3 and a challenging industry environment. Polestar revised its 2023 production guidance to 60,000 to 70,000 cars, down from the previous estimate of 80,000. Polestar, like other EV startups, has faced intensified competition from Chinese players and established brands, compounded by an ongoing price war initiated by Tesla and high interest rates. Recent developments, including the delay of Polestar 3 production to the first quarter of 2024, caused by Volvo Cars' software development and testing requirements, have led to concerns about cash flow. While Polestar received substantial financing in November 2021, additional funding will be necessary to navigate the next few years.
EQRx Inc, a pharmaceutical company focused on lowering drug prices, recently announced the layoff of 170 employees and expects non-recurring costs of around $45-55 million for wind down, termination, and exit expenses. EQRx went public in December 2021 and aims to pursue market-based pricing for two of its lead drugs after determining that one was not commercially viable. In an effort to streamline expenses, EQRx had previously announced an 18% reduction in its workforce by the end of Q1 2023. As part of the recent announcement, EQRx is discontinuing several pipeline candidates and terminating license agreements with CStone Pharmaceuticals and Lynk Pharmaceuticals. EQRx plans to separate its immune-inflammatory R&D programs from its oncology business, explore independence, and seek additional funding options. With these changes, EQRx retains one clinical program, lerociclib, and maintains a cash position of $1.3 billion. The portfolio decisions and significant workforce reduction are expected to generate annualized cash savings of at least $125 million. CEO Melanie Nallicheri expressed EQRx’s commitment to developing clinically differentiated, high-value medicines moving forward.
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