Avaya, the Durham-based telecommunications firm, laid off an unspecified number of employees Tuesday during virtual calls with the company’s human resources department.
Multiple employees told The News & Observer they were let go, during calls that ranged from 10 to 15 minutes. Postings on online message boards like TheLayoff.com suggest job losses at Avaya were widespread.
Many had anticipated layoffs after weeks of hearing about coming cost reductions and, more recently, receiving invitations to attend HR meetings Tuesday.
“Everybody knew when they got that invite,” said a worker who was laid off and asked that their name not be published since they will be looking for work and also did not want to jeopardize their severance package.
“You’re hoping it’s nothing, but you know what it is,” the employee said. “Then you get on, and you’re looking at names and you’re like, ‘We’re all here for the same thing.’”
Another laid-off employee, who lives in the Triangle area, said they had heard from several Avaya colleagues who were let go from the company’s offices near Research Triangle Park.
Avaya would not share how many employees it let go, nor how many it has in the Triangle area.
According to the N.C. Department of Commerce, Avaya has not filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, notice. Under federal law, a company must file a WARN notice if it plans to lay off at least 500 employees.
In an emailed statement to The News & Observer, Avaya CEO Alan Masarek said “lowering our costs, including through a reduction in our workforce, is necessary to position Avaya as a more agile and innovative organization.”
He added the company is “committed to treating impacted employees with utmost dignity and respect and seamlessly providing our customers with outstanding communications solutions and support.”
Avaya financial struggles
Avaya, which relocated from California to the Triangle in 2020, had been employing close to 8,000 people worldwide. In recent years, it has shifted to providing clients cloud-based communication services through subscriptions.
The transition has been turbulent.
In May, Avaya missed its quarterly revenue target, and did so again in August. Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported on the collapse of a $600 million debt deal the company had entered with Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.
The same month, Avaya informed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission it would delay filing its 10-Q financial report for the third quarter, a decision that sent the company’s already declining stock price plummeting.
This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.
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This story was originally published September 6, 2022 5:23 PM.
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