Sonos cuts 12% of workforce due to pandemic; impact on Seattle engineering office not yet clear

The Sonos engineering office in Seattle. (Sonos Photo)

Speaker-maker Sonos, which has a large presence in downtown Seattle, announced Tuesday that it is cutting 12 percent of its global workforce due to uncertainty and challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company said it also plans to close its New York City retail store and six satellite offices.

When reached by GeekWire, Sonos would not elaborate on whether the cuts would affect its Seattle office, where product and software development takes place. The company, which first arrived in Seattle in 2015, moved to a new space in the Bank of America Fifth Avenue Plaza last year, and said during an October office tour that it had made room for 163 employees. It was the fastest growing office anywhere for the company.

Sonos says in its investor relations FAQ that it has more than 1,450 full time employees.

In a statement attributed to CEO Patrick Spence, Sonos, which went public in 2018, said it took action when the health crisis hit to reduce operating expenses and preserve liquidity.

“The pandemic and resulting economic impacts have caused us to have to make some hard choices,” the statement read. “These changes are necessary in order for us to emerge from this period ready to take advantage of opportunities we see in the future.”

Spence thanked those who will be impacted “for their contributions and the passion they brought to work each day.”

In the SEC filing, Sonos said the terminations and site closures will cost the company approximately $25 to $30 million in restructuring and related charges. A 20 percent reduction in the base salary of the CEO and other executives was also announced.

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