Tech start-ups worldwide are cutting jobs as the coronavirus pandemic undermines their ability to make money.
To make matters worse for staff, they are not being told face to face, the BBC reported.
Electric scooter-maker Bird axed about 400 posts on Friday, about 30 percent of its staff. And the Californian company used a Zoom conference call to tell them.
Zoom can connect up to 1,000 users on a single call – but many of the workers were unable to log on and found out via messages from colleagues posted online.
Details of Bird’s lay-offs first emerged via a second-hand report on Twitter, which suggested a pre-recorded message had been played.
But the company’s chief technology officer quickly clarified the situation.
Its chief executive, Travis VanderZanden, later added: “Video was turned off, which we thought was more humane.
“In retrospect, we should’ve made one-on-one calls to the hundreds impacted, over the course of a few days.”
Rival US scooter start-up Lime is also preparing to cut dozens of jobs, according to reports, after it announced plans to wind down and pause its service in most of the places it was active.
The company is looking to raise a new round of emergency funding that would see its valuation plummet from $2.4 bn to $400 mn, according to a report in The Information last week.