Apple Cuts 600 Jobs After Halting Car, Smartwatch Projects


Apple Inc. laid off more than 600 employees in California as part of the decisions to end its car and smartwatch display projects, according to filings with the California Employment Development Department.

The Cupertino, California-based company filed eight separate reports to the state to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN program. Companies must file a report to the state agency for each California address that includes employees affected by a layoff. At least 87 of the people worked at an address corresponding to a secret Apple facility for its next-generation screen development, while the others were located at buildings related to the car project.

At the end of February, Apple began to wind down both initiatives, which were seen as major moonshot efforts to advance the company’s technologies or enter sizable new areas. The car project was canceled amid indecision among executives about its direction and cost concerns. The display program was shuttered due to engineering, supplier and cost challenges.

According to the reports, 371 employees were released at Apple’s main car-related office in Santa Clara, California, while dozens more at multiple satellite offices were also impacted. In some cases, members of the Apple car group were relocated to other teams, such as for artificial intelligence or work on personal robotics.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the number of employees affected by the job cuts.

The WARN notices don’t disclose the full scope of the job reductions because Apple had many engineers on both projects in other areas, including Arizona.

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