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Hundreds of Tech and Biotech Layoffs Rattle Bay Area Job Market

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George Avalos
The Mercury News

Redwood City, California — A tech titan and a biotech company revealed plans to chop nearly 300 jobs in the Bay Area, hinting at unsettling prospects for the region’s employment sector. online news

Oracle America has decided to impose job cuts in San Mateo County while BioMarin Pharmaceutical intends to conduct layoffs in Marin County, according to documents filed with the state Employment Development Department.

All told, 295 positions are being jettisoned in the Bay Area due to the layoffs, the WARN notices sent to the EDD show.

Texas-based Oracle said it chopped 201 jobs on the Peninsula, the WARN notice from the database software firm stated.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical has decided to cut 94 jobs in the North Bay, according to the filing by the biotech firm.

The Oracle staffing reductions took effect on Oct. 3, the company’s WARN notice stated.

“The Redwood Shores Campus is not closing as part of this reduction in force,” Anje Dodson, Oracle senior vice president of human relations, stated in the WARN letter to the EDD.

Oracle said the layoffs were conducted from Oct. 3 through Oct. 6, according to the WARN notice. The job cuts affected employees who work in multiple office buildings on Oracle Parkway in Redwood City and on Island Parkway in Belmont.

“It is anticipated that these layoffs will be permanent,” Oracle America stated in the WARN letter.

During the summer, Oracle was considering the elimination of thousands of jobs worldwide, with a heavy impact at its offices in the United States, according to media reports.

The Oracle job cuts were expected to impact sites in the Bay Area, although no precise numbers had previously been disclosed for any specific region or city.

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A review of the Oracle employment reductions in the WARN letter revealed that scores of rank-and-file and management employees in areas such as software and product development were dismissed in either Redwood City or Belmont or both.

Oracle didn’t break down how many employees the company jettisoned in the two Peninsula cities, respectively.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical, which creates therapies for people with serious and life-threatening rare diseases and medical conditions, had signaled in an Oct. 6 post on its website that it was planning a staffing cutback.

San Rafael-based BioMarin Pharma said it had embarked on a wide-ranging “redesign” to achieve a “better focus” in its organization, according to the post.

“This redesign simplifies the organization, creates efficiencies, reduces the average management layers across the organization and prioritizes and heightens the capabilities required to achieve critical business needs of the future,” BioMarin Pharmaceutical stated.

The biotech firm anticipated that the layoffs would affect 120 employees worldwide, or about 4% of its workforce, according to the web post.

“Employees were notified on Oct. 5 and 6 and their separation of employment is planned to occur between Dec. 6, 2022 and Jan. 31, 2023,” Angeline Covey, a corporate counsel for BioMarin Pharmaceutical, stated in the WARN notice.

Of the 94 Marin County layoffs, BioMarin Pharma decided to cut 62 jobs in San Rafael and 32 in Novato, a post on the EDD website shows.

“This change allows us to continue building upon our core strength in genetic discovery,” Jean-Jacques Bienaime, BioMarin’s chief executive officer, stated in the web post.

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