About 60 employees of billionaire Dan Gilbert's real estate firm Bedrock Detroit were informed they were laid off Monday, or about 15% of its workforce.
According to an anonymous tipster, the employees received a text Monday morning informing them to look for a Zoom meeting request from CEO Kofi Bonner "to discuss the strategic vision of Bedrock." The Zoom meeting played a pre-recorded message telling the employees that their positions were being eliminated, and the employees were locked out of their company accounts and devices after the call.
A company spokesperson confirmed the layoffs in an email.
"Today, Bedrock announced a restructuring that will position the company for continued growth and improved service in 2021 and well beyond," the spokesperson says. "As a result, approximately 60 positions have been affected by these changes. We are working diligently to place virtually all impacted team members into new roles within the Rock Family of Companies. To date, several team members have already accepted new positions with sister companies and we anticipate the majority finding new roles in the coming weeks. Those who do not receive a new position will be provided a severance package and comprehensive outplacement services."
The news comes days after Gilbert, who has purchased more than 90 properties in the city since 2010, most of them downtown, said he plans to invest $500 million in Detroit's neighborhoods over the next 10 years.
"I'd like to see the people of Detroit benefit," Gilbert, who has been laying low after experiencing a stroke in 2019, said during an interview with CBS This Morning
. "You look at every level in downtown right now and we have to carry that through to the neighborhoods and have the whole city have that energy."
The program is set to begin by paying off $15 million in overdue property taxes for about 20,000 homes.