Adobe Opens New Office Tower, Pledges No Companywide Layoffs in 2023

(Bloomberg)—Adobe Inc., breaking ranks with an industry cutting costs and laying off workers, has opened a new office tower in its home city, adding new capacity for staff and pledging no companywide job cuts in 2023.

The Founders Tower is an 18-story, 1.25 million-square-foot shimmering glass addition to San Jose, California, a city Adobe has called home since the early ’90s. The software company’s fourth tower has capacity for 3,000 employee workstations, Adobe said Wednesday in a statement. Despite opening a new office with amenities, the company remains supportive of hybrid and flexible work arrangements.

“We’re actually committed to continuing to grow here,” Adobe Chief People Officer Gloria Chen said in an interview with Bloomberg Television to air Wednesday. “We are committed to not having companywide layoffs.”

Adobe is bucking the trend among technology companies that are cutting jobs and paring back their real estate footprint. Major US cities, already struggling from a pandemic shift to flexible working, continue to be hit in particular by office closings. Salesforce Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have consolidated or cut real estate leases. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Amazon.com Inc. was pausing construction on its second US headquarters, slated for Arlington, Virginia.

Still, Adobe isn’t immune to the industrywide pressure to cut costs. The maker of software such as Photoshop and Illustrator for creative professionals eliminated some jobs concentrated in sales late last year. Moving forward, the company will be judicious in hiring and manging its expenses, Chen said. And while the new office tower can handle workspace for 3,000 new employees, there’s no commitment or plan to hire in an effort to fill that capacity, she said.

The shares gained less than 1% to $346.29 at 11:38 a.m. in New York. The stock plunged 41% in 2022 and has increased 3% this year, lagging far behind the 12% jump in the S&P 500 Information Technology Index.

For San Jose, a city in close proximity to some of the world’s leading technology names, it’s the latest vote of confidence from a longtime tenant. Apple Inc.’s namesake headquarters is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from downtown. Alphabet Inc.’s Google has a new campus in the works in San Jose, which is seen as another big draw for the area.

Adobe’s plans for a new building were hatched back in 2019, prior to the pandemic. When the world shut down in March 2020, the company decided to continue building throughout the Covid-19 period. The company declined to disclose the tower’s construction costs.

Adobe wants to encourage attendance in the new space and a flexible working model, Chen said. The company expects that half of an employee’s time will be spent in the office and the other half working remotely. How that split looks and which teams are required to do so are left up to individual managers, Chen said.

“I don’t think that the world of flexible and hybrid work has been defined for good. And so we are constantly experimenting, learning, iterating. And we came into this whole model with that mindset,” Chen added.

Adobe also is trying to close a $20 billion deal to buy startup Figma Inc., amid regulatory scrutiny. The proposed acquisition is a bet that more creative work will be done by small businesses and everyday users on the web, a market that Figma has rapidly seized. Chen declined to comment on whether any of the new capacity in Founders Towers would go to Figma, which is currently based in San Francisco.

“We’re still operating as separate companies right now,” Chen said. “But bringing people together is always something that we do, and I’ll leave it at that.”

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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