COVID-19 prompts significant layoffs at Bird

Bird has laid off nearly a third of its workforce as a result of the damage caused by COVID-19.

The e-scooter start-up had already paused its shared scooter operations in many markets throughout the world, dramatically cutting back spending, but the financial impact has ultimately meant that cuts were inevitable.

Approximately 30% of Bird’s workforce has been made redundant. Founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden said in a memo to employees: “We’ve watched the COVID-19 pandemic radically and quickly transform our lives, the world, and our business. Given the unknown timeline and current economic situation, we were forced to cut back in this way to elongate the trajectory of Bird and our mission.”

According to Bird, despite recently raising hundreds of millions of dollars from investors, costs need to be slashed to ensure it can remain running throughout 2020 and early 2021. It is curbing ‘all spending not related to keeping afloat’.

“History suggests that people will demand a large scale mobility option that still allows for personal distancing,” VanderZanden said. “And Bird will be there.”

Bird workers losing jobs were assured severance pay and extended health plan coverage.

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