The Santa Barbara-based breast implant company Mentor Worldwide LLC plans to lay off 82 employees in November because it is moving its headquarters to Irvine. The last time an area company laid off a similar number of employees was when Union Bank purchased Santa Barbara Bank & Trust in 2012; employees were laid off over the course of about a year, according to the county’s Social Services department.

“The full transition is expected to be complete this year and includes relocating a portion of the company’s employees,” according to a statement issued by Mentor. “This was a strategic decision made to better align the company with several other California-based medical device companies that are part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.”

The company, which has an office near Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, would not elaborate on the number of employees that might be able to relocate. In a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) letter sent to county Social Services, the company said the affected positions include about half clerical staff, 12 managers, and 23 sales professionals.

Founded in 1969, Mentor is a supplier of aesthetic products and has been making breast implants for about 20 years. It was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2009 and operates in the United States, Mauritius, and the Netherlands.

“Mentor thanks and appreciates the Santa Barbara community for its many years of support,” the statement reads.


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