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Los Angeles
March 27, 2020
June 14, 2024

Bird Layoffs: What Happened & Why?

In March 2020, Bird, an electric scooter company, laid off over 400 employees, affecting 30% of its staff across all departments. This came as the company paused its services in many markets due to the coronavirus pandemic. In this article, we'll discuss what happened, why it occurred, and the potential future impact on the industry.

Why did Bird have layoffs?

Bird's decision to lay off over 400 employees, affecting 30% of its staff across all departments, was primarily driven by economic pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the company had paused its services in numerous markets in response to the outbreak, it faced significant financial challenges that necessitated the layoffs. It is noteworthy that this trend was not isolated to Bird; its competitor, Lime, had also reduced its workforce, reflecting broader industry challenges. While detailed insights from industry analysts or company executives are not disclosed, the situation underscores the vulnerability of startups and the shared mobility sector during economic downturns.

Financial Impact and Future Directions

Bird's layoffs are part of strategic adjustments driven by current economic conditions. The company is actively refining its operational structure and financial strategies to solidify its position and prepare for post-crisis recovery. These changes are part of an overarching strategy aimed at optimizing market presence and product offerings, enhancing the company’s future viability and success.

Impact on Industry

The layoffs at Bird, coupled with similar challenges at Lime, indicate a period of reevaluation within the scooter and shared mobility industry. These changes may prompt companies to reassess their business models and strategies to adapt to new economic realities. The sector might see innovations in operational tactics and market approaches as companies aim to navigate through these turbulent times.


Bird's significant workforce reduction, driven by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, illustrates the broader susceptibility of startups in the shared mobility sector to global crises. This situation may catalyze a strategic shift within the industry, as companies like Bird might refine their business models to better withstand future economic disruptions and capitalize on emerging market opportunities.