Coronavirus BRIEFING

Second Sight to Slash Staff and Wind Down Operations as Pandemic Impacts Financing

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LOS ANGELES—Visual prosthesis maker Second Sight Medical Products (NASDAQ: EYES) has laid off approximately 84 of its 108 employees, effective March 31, 2020. The move is in response to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on Second Sight’s ability to secure financing, the company said in a statement. The impacted employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits subject to local regulations. “Against a background of unprecedented economic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and inability to secure additional financing, the company’s board of directors has evaluated strategic alternatives and decided to pursue an orderly wind down of the company’s operations,” Second Sight said.

“The company intends to retain an adviser experienced in winding down operations to guide the board on next steps. Any wind down activity, if implemented, will be subject to uncertainties. Additional layoffs are expected to be made at a later date based on the company’s level of operations.”

The company also announced that the board of directors appointed Matthew Pfeffer, a member of the board and chairman of its audit committee, as acting CEO to guide the company through the transitional wind down period, instead of Gregg Williams, chairman of the board, as VMAIL previously reported