Zoom CEO Eric Yuan Cuts His Own Pay By 98% Amid Layoffs

"I want to show accountability not just in words but in my own actions," Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said in an email to employees.

learn more about Gabrielle Bienasz

By Gabrielle Bienasz

Kena Betancur / Stringer I Getty Images
Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom.

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan told employees in an email on Tuesday that he would cut his own salary by 98% and not take a bonus amid a layoff announcement at the company that will affect around 1,300 workers worldwide.

"As the CEO and founder of Zoom, I am accountable for these mistakes and the actions we take today," Yuan told employees.

"I want to show accountability not just in words but in my own actions" he added.

Zoom, a video communications company, saw supercharged growth fueled by the pandemic and a change to work-from-home culture. Yuan founded the California-based company in 2011. At its peak, the company's stock clocked in at $559 a share in October 2020.

Related: How Zoom Won 2020 by Meeting a Surge of Demand

But, like many companies that soared during the crisis, it had a rough landing — its stock is currently trading at around $80 a share (it went up about 10% post-layoff announcement).

Yuan cited the pandemic rollercoaster as a reason for the cuts in his message to staff. "Within 24 months, Zoom grew 3x in size to manage this demand while enabling continued innovation," he said.

"We didn't take as much time as we should have to thoroughly analyze our teams or assess if we were growing sustainably, toward the highest priorities," he added.

Zoom is the latest tech company to announce large-scale layoffs. Amazon, Google, and Meta have all laid off thousands of employees in the last four months.

Related: Google Will Lay Off 12,000 Workers Due to 'Difficult Economic Cycles'

Yuan's base salary last year was $301,731, per Bloomberg. The cut will bring his salary down to $10,000.

Other executives at the company will also take pay cuts of 20% and forgo bonuses for the upcoming year, the filing added.

Laid-off "Zoomies," at least in the U.S., will receive "up to" 16 weeks of salary and healthcare.

Other CEOs of tech companies have taken pay cuts, though on much larger base salaries. Tim Cook cut his salary by 40%, which brought to $43 million, per CNBC.

David Solomon, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, cut his by 29%, which brought it down to $25 million.

Gabrielle Bienasz

Entrepreneur Staff

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid
Thinking of a Career Change? Here Are 4 Steps You Can Take to Get There.
A Founder Who Bootstrapped Her Jewelry Business With Just $1,000 Now Sees 7-Figure Revenue Because She Knew Something About Her Customers Nobody Else Did
Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law

6 Secret Tools for Flying First Class (Without Paying Full Price)

It's time to reimagine upgrading. Here's how to fly first class on every flight, business or personal.


How to Bring Your Franchise to the Next Level With Marketing Automation

With the impacts of inflation and associated costs of running a business, automation is a powerful solution for streamlining a positive guest experience and overall marketing.

Business News

'Crying Northwestern Kid' Turned His Viral Fan Moment Into a Successful Harvard Admissions Essay. He Says the Experience Taught Him About Empathy.

Six years ago, Phillips was watching No. 8 Northwestern take on No. 1 Gonzaga during March Madness when he became a meme.

Starting a Business

90% of Online Businesses Fail in Just 4 Months. You Can Avoid the Same Fate By Using These Strategies.

It's not catastrophizing when we think about potential failure; it's in fact a chance for any business to precisely see any outcome and prepare in advance.