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Over 500 Israeli tech employees fired in one day, amid ‘bubble’ fears

AID Genomics moves its R&D center abroad, laying off 400 workers, while Asurion closes its development center; thousands have lost their jobs in recent months

Illustrative view of high-tech office buildings in Herzliya Pituach, Israel, December 12, 2015. (Nati Shohat/Flash 90)
Illustrative view of high-tech office buildings in Herzliya Pituach, Israel, December 12, 2015. (Nati Shohat/Flash 90)

More than 500 Israeli tech employees were laid off on Sunday, with the country’s most successful sector having now lost thousands of workers in recent months.

AID Genomics, a Singaporian medical technology company, announced a substantial reduction in its activity in Israel by moving its research and development center abroad and canceling planned investments in the country.

This resulted in some 400 workers — the vast majority of the firm’s workforce in Israel — being laid off, according to Hebrew media reports.

Earlier, US insurance firm Asurion announced it was shuttering its Israeli development center, amid restructuring, resulting in 120 employees being fired.

In addition, 40 other workers will be laid off at the end of the year.

In 2013, Asurion acquired Israeli startup Soluto — which had previously been owned by Naftali Bennett, who later entered politics and ended up serving as prime minister from June 2021 until last month.

Izhak Haviv, chief scientist of AID Genomics, with a colleague (courtesy of AID Genomics)

One Soluto employee told the Kan public broadcaster that everything had been going well and that the firm was hiring as recently as a week ago.

“It really came as a total shock. It was very surprising. This was simply an American decision, the site was a success. Even the senior management [of Soluto] was surprised,” he said.

With high salaries and exorbitant perks, Israel’s high-tech sector has been breaking more and more records in recent years, though some observers have warned of a bubble in the market, given the investment frenzy and the sky-high valuations.

Kan said that since March, over 3,000 high-tech employees have been fired, half of them this month.

Channel 12 news cited an even higher figure, saying that 2,800 workers have lost their jobs in the last two months alone.

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