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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Automation Anywhere, a robotic process automation company valued at $6.8 billion last fall by venture capitalists, began laying off hundreds of employees on Monday, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic will push more enterprises toward automated software, but the shift isn't happening fast enough to stem top-line losses for Silicon Valley companies like AA.

What they're saying:

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the changes it has brought to the global economy, Automation Anywhere is adjusting operations and restructuring parts of the company, which will result in a workforce reduction. Although we are confident in the company’s strength and ability to grow going forward, given the current circumstances, we must reduce expenses in some areas and realign our resources to new skill sets in key growth areas, such as cloud and digital, that offer higher value service to customers."
— Automation Anywhere spokesperson

Automation Anywhere declined to specify how many of its 2,600 employees are receiving pink slips, although Axios has heard the number is north of 10%.

Investors: The San Jose, California-based company has raised $840 million in venture capital funding from firms like SoftBank, Salesforce Ventures, Goldman Sachs, NEA, Workday Ventures, General Atlantic and World Innovation Lab.

Go deeper

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1 p.m. the day after the article is transmitted.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.