Peripheral Maker Razer to Shutter San Francisco Office

Razer will close its San Francisco office Feb. 29
Razer will close its San Francisco office Feb. 29 / Razer Inc.

Razer Inc. will close its San Francisco office Feb. 29, laying off 19 as part of a consolidation effort, the company confirmed Wednesday to DBLTAP. Several high-level employees are among those laid off, including a vice president of software and a design director, according to a document obtained by DBLTAP from California’s Employment Development Department.

Employees were notified Dec. 18.

A Razer spokesperson said the employees' roles were "no longer required." Razer offered some of those employees relocations, he said.

"We will be centralizing our US operations in Irvine to make it our corporate headquarters,” the spokesperson said. “This means that we will strengthen our bench of talents there and further investments will be made in this office where our Sales and Marketing, Systems Business Unit, Customer Advocacy, HR, and Finance teams are currently located."

News of the closure arrives a day after Razer earned international attention with innovations unveiled at CES 2020. There it revealed a new universal mobile gaming controller, the Razer Kishi, in addition to the Razer Sila 5G Home Router, the Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop and the Razer Eracing Simulator concept. The company routinely wins CES innovation awards for products shown at the conference.

The layoff notification was sent the same month Kotaku published a story detailing co-founder Min-Liang Tan’s alleged history of verbal abuse directed at employees.

Entrepreneurs Tan and Robert Krakoff founded Razer Inc. in 2005 with dual headquarters in San Diego and Singapore. Under Tan’s leadership, the company made its name as a gaming lifestyle brand making well-reviewed gaming mice and keyboards. Razer opened a digital games storefront in April 2018 only to close it the following February.

The company moved its San Diego headquarters to San Francisco in 2009, a year after opening a research development center in the city. It operates out of 17 other offices worldwide, including a co-headquarter in Irvine, Calif.

“We will be streamlining our US. operations to focus on investing in a single office on the West Coast as opposed to maintaining two offices,” the spokesperson said. “This consolidation allows us to focus on scaling our Irvine office with a view to establishing a larger campus in the long term.”