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EA news raises spectre of more B.C. tech layoffs

EA plans to lay off six per cent of global staff; no mention of cuts in Canada
EA Vancouver had been expanding its Burnaby campus by leasing new buildings that are under construction

News that Electronic Arts plans to cut six per cent of its global workforce, or about 800 jobs, raises the spectre that B.C.'s tech sector could be hit with job losses. 

The California-based video-game maker did not specify which workers would be laid off, or where they are located. EA employs about 1,250 workers in Burnaby

CEO Andrew Wilson told employees in a statement that, "As we drive greater focus across our portfolio, we are moving away from projects that do not contribute to our strategy, reviewing our real estate footprint, and restructuring some of our teams."

The news comes on the heels of another American technology giant saying that it plans to reduce its headcount. Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN) on March 20 announced plans to trim 9,000 employees, only two months after it laid out plans to cull 18,000 workers from what in January was more than 1.5 million global employees.

It is unclear if any of those cuts will be in Metro Vancouver. 

BIV last year ranked Amazon as the third largest national or global company in the province, with about 10,000 workers. An updated report from Amazon Canada pins the number of B.C. workers at 10,500.

Amazon is readying to move into about 1,050,000 square feet of office space at Quadreal Property Group's two-tower Post development in the city block bounded by West Georgia, Hamilton, Dunsmuir and Homer streets. Job cuts may prompt the company to sublease some of that space.

Vancouver technology companies that have laid off staff include Hootsuite, which said on Jan. 18 that it would lay off 70 people to position the business for the long term. Last year, the company laid off 350 workers

Other Vancouver technology companies that laid off staff last year include Thinkific Labs Inc. (TSX:THNC), Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE:ZYME), Unbounce Marketing Solutions Inc. and Article (TradeMango Solutions Inc.)

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