Softbank Robotics Europe will lay off 40% of its 330 staff in Paris, following a loss of about $38 million in its fiscal year from 2019 to 2020 and more than $119 million in the last three years.
According to reports, the company’s popular Nao and Peppered robots never achieved financial success as they were not adopted by European countries and America.
One employee of the company, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “the market for Nao and Pepper is smaller than we expected. It is not sustainable to have this many workers in Paris based on the economic issues we are facing.”
Softbank Robotics Europe stated in its public statement on The Robot Report: “In the light of the pandemic and economic slowdown, SoftBank Robotics Europe is considering a significant workforce optimization plan. Our EMEA HQ located in Paris is home to about 330 employees, as of March 2021. In this difficult time, we want to thank all our employees for their efforts in creating the best humanoids on the planet and will make the best efforts to ensure fair departure decisions with labor representatives and local consultation bodies in France. The current round of job cuts should be completed by the end of 2021.” Going forward, a source confirmed that “There will be less investment in emotional humanoids and more focus on commercial products such as Whiz.”