Last week, the food tech industry and VC world was abuzz with yet another SoftBank investment making drastic changes. For in all the bluster and grand statements about Zume in the media last week, the facts around the company that was part pizza company, part packaging manufacturer and part mobile kitchen brand got a bit mixed up.
Yes, there are some big changes, but the 80 percent hack job is not quite right, according to the company.
“The reality is that 53 percent of Zume’s workforce has been separated. Additionally, it is expecting to have 100 job openings shortly, which will be open to those impacted by this week’s news,” said a company representative.
In an internal note to employees, CEO Alex Garden had more to say about the pivot.
“Ours is a broad agenda including new methods to produce food, deliver it, and package it in increasingly sustainable ways. Today our mission is the same, and requires the same bold thinking, but with increased focus,” wrote Garden. “As we move forward with this new strategy, many of the current roles at Zume no longer exist and we regret we must say goodbye to a number of our valued friends and fellow Zumers. These decisions were incredibly difficult, as we could not have reached our current success without the talents of these same people. We have done everything we reasonably can as a company to offer exit packages that will ease the transition of our impacted employees to the next phase in their careers.”
The note then outlined the strategic changes at the company, namely, Zume Pizza is no more.
“With admiration and sadness, we are closing Zume Pizza today,” wrote Garden. “Over the last four years this business has been our invention test bed and has been our inspiration for many of the growth businesses we have at Zume today.”
Garden wrote that the company was “doubling down on our market-leading innovations in compostable molded-fiber packaging” with added manufacturing capacity around the world.
The company will also continue to work on Zume Forward Mobile, its food production and delivery systems. Garden wrote that the company would keep investing in R&D “across our portfolio.”
So it’s bad news, and many of those robotics and firmware jobs will likely not be among those 100 new job postings. As of publishing, the new listings had not appeared on the website or area job boards.
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