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Hundreds more San Francisco Bay Area jobs slashed in latest layoffs

Pedestrians silhouetted against strong sunlight slanting down between tall city buildings walk alongside their own shadows as they enter crosswalks.
Two biotech firms and a technology company will slash hundreds of jobs. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

Two San Francisco Bay Area biotech firms and a technology company will slash hundreds of jobs combined through early next year, according to documents filed with the state and released Thursday.

Gilead Sciences will permanently lay off 41 employees by Dec. 15 at its Lakeside Drive address in Foster City, a Nov. 3 WARN notice sent to the California Department of Employment Development said. One more employee, described as an executive director for project management, will be let go by March 15, 2024.

Gilead is a biopharmaceutical company that offers medicines to treat diseases like HIV, viral hepatitis, Covid and cancer.

According to the Real Deal, the company announced plans in January to add a six-story, 175,000-square-foot research center to its Foster City campus.

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“While our business is performing well and our clinical momentum continues to accelerate, we are taking measures to further align our business for future growth, including streamlining some areas of the organization to better optimize operational efficiency,” a Gilead Sciences spokesperson told The Standard.

A large white room with banks of black topped tables with red modular stackable filing cabinets underneath, with blurred time-lapse images of workers either seated or walking and talking together.
Workers walk between assignments through aisles within a Ginkgo Bioworks laboratory | Source: Courtesy Gingko Bioworks

Biotech company Zymergen Inc. announced it would permanently lay off 101 employees at a Chiron Way address in Emeryville, according to a Monday notice. Employees working in 10 departments will be cut starting Dec. 18, running through Feb. 2, 2024, according to a WARN letter sent to the state.

Zymergen was acquired in October 2022 by Gingko Bioworks.

A Gingko Bioworks spokesperson told The Standard that the company had entered an asset purchase agreement, or stalking-horse bid, to acquire rights and assets for Zymergen, in conjunction with Zymergen’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Oct. 3, “including planned offers of employment to certain Zymergen employees in the instance Ginkgo is the successful bidder. In return, Zymergen agreed to maintain their employment through this bid process.”

And in Sunnyvale, technology company Juniper Networks Inc. said it would permanently lay off 108 employees at an Innovation Way address, with first cuts coming Dec. 4. In its WARN letter to the state, the company said it would offer severance benefits and transition programs to affected employees: “It is our hope that these programs will lessen the impact of the mass layoff on individual employees and on the community as a whole.” 

In preliminary third-quarter results announced Oct. 26, the company described itself as “a leader in secure, AI-driven networks” and said it had total cash, cash equivalents and investments of $1.418 billion as of September 30, compared with $1.254 billion as of Sept. 30, 2022.

In late September, Bay Area technology companies announced hundreds of layoffs in five cities. Notably, Cisco Systems Inc. laid off hundreds of workers in two San Francisco Bay Area cities.

Earlier in October, California tech giant Qualcomm announced it was laying off 1,258 California workers—including almost 200 in the Bay Area, according to California Employment Development Department documents known as WARN notices.

George Kelly can be reached at