US-based electric scooter giant Bird is reportedly laying off many of its employees. The departures will be across various organizations and regions of the company. It was confirmed through former Bird employees on Linkedin that the layoffs had already begun. The reports say that around 23 percent are being let go from the company.
Everyone from senior managers to new hires is in the laying off process. Bird states that the company has to reduce its cost structure as it is focused on accelerating toward profitability. Further mentioned sustainable expansion in more than 400 cities to have climate action being more paramount. TechCrunch reported, quoting what Bird stated. “This path required us to reduce our cost structure in a way that allows us to responsibly and sustainably expand our service beyond the more than 400 cities we operate in today as climate action has never been more paramount,”
While the company has around 600 employees, around 138 employees will be let go. It appears that more layoffs will be in Los Angeles. Also, at least one former employee of Bird looking for work on Linkedin is from Texas. The report further stated, “In addition to eliminating all non-critical third party spends, we also, unfortunately, had to depart with a number of team members who passionately helped create a new industry and paved the way for more eco-friendly transportation,”
The writing may have been on the wall for Bird for some time. After going public via a SPAC late last year, the company’s stock is down over 90% in barely seven months. It’s quite a fall from grace for a company that was once at the top of the electric scooter-sharing world, bursting onto the scene in late 2017 and early 2018 as it helped a nascent scooter-sharing industry go gangbusters. Many riders were hailing the electric scooters as a convenient solution for last-mile type transit. It was a way to get from home or work to the train or metro, for example.
This isn’t the first time Bird has taken drastic measures and cut back on a huge portion of its workforce. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Bird laid off around 30% of its workforce but was able to recover, in part due to the skyrocketing popularity of micromobility during the pandemic. While micromobility remains incredibly popular, this time Bird is weathering the current storm in a very different economic environment. Without a consumer products division, Bird will have to rely heavily on its electric scooter sharing operations to make a lean return to profitability.