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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Pink Slips for Anthem IT Workers

Anthem Inc. has laid off information technology professionals nationally with at least some of the affected employees in the Valley area, according to Kenn Phillips, the chief executive of the Valley Economic Alliance. Phillips said he was told more than 160 were let go nationwide with an unknown number of them locally. Michael Bowman, spokesman for Anthem in California, did not deny that layoffs had occurred but would not clarify the number. What is clear is that Anthem is downsizing locally and building up in Atlanta. The Indianapolis-based parent of Blue Cross/Blue Shield is moving from a 434,000-square-foot building at 21555 Oxnard St. in Woodland Hills to a nearby space almost 60 percent smaller at 21215 Burbank Ave., also in Woodland Hills. Meanwhile, it plans to move up to 3,000 information technology and software development workers next year into an office tower that’s now under construction in Atlanta. Earlier this month, construction of a neighboring 20-story tower was announced in Atlanta, and Anthem reportedly will anchor that building as well. Phillips said he was first told about staff cuts early this month from a laid-off worker. He said he was told between 162 and 166 IT workers were let go, some with 10-plus years with the company, but that apparently was a nationwide figure. He said it was unclear how many local people may have lost their jobs, and he could not get clarity from Anthem. Any company that intends to lay off 50 or more employees in a 30-day period in California must file a notice with the state, according to the Employment Development Department, and that has not happened. Bowman did not provide any number of layoffs, although he did say the company needs to make adjustments from time to time. “Health care is continuously changing and evolving. At Anthem, our business strategy — together with our organizational structure and culture — is the foundation for our continued success,” the company said in a statement. “As a result, Anthem must evolve to reflect the changing needs of our consumers, our markets and our industry. These adjustments are part of the normal course of business as health care, and Anthem, adapts and changes. Less than 1 percent of our associates in California were impacted.”

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