Uber has now cut 25% of its staff during coronavirus pandemic

Thursday, 21 May, 2020

Uber lost $2.9 billion in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic decimated its overseas investments.

Uber will be refocusing on its core business, moving people and delivering food, said chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi in a note to employees.

With the Coronavirus pandemic claiming goodwill, Uber management "had to take strict measures to resize our business to the new reality of our business", said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi E-mail workers. The company said that it is downsizing its total headcount by 14% or about 3,700 employees earlier this month. Though, it was a hard decision to cut down the numbers of our dedicated workforce by around 3,000 people.

As a result of the latest layoffs and the eventual closure of the Singapore office, around 120 roles will be impacted, Uber told The Business Times. Uber is also shutting or consolidating 40 offices around the world; its Pier 70 office in San Francisco is set to close.

In the next year, the company will ease operations of its office in Singapore, and shift to a new "hub" in the Asia-Pacific region.

Teams at Uber are being reorganized, with Andrew Macdonald to head a "mobility" team that will include transit and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty taking charge of a "delivery" team. That means that other areas - such as its Uber AI Labs, a team within its engineering core that works on self-driving vehicles, and Incubator, a programme that supports entrepreneurs to develop new Uber products - are winding down. The company said that trip requests had plummeted 80% globally in April, but were slowly recovering.

The layoffs come less than two weeks after the company cut 3,700 jobs and said it would eliminate $1 billion in costs this year.

Lyft, Uber's main US rival, laid off 982 people last month, or 17% of its workforce because of plummeting demand.

Lyft Inc., the main alternative to Uber in North America, is cutting about 17 percent of staff, furloughing more and reducing salaries.

"Our balance sheet is strong, Eats is doing great, Rides looks a little better, maybe we can wait this damn virus out..."

Earlier this month, the company reported its first-ever decline in gross ride bookings during the first quarter and pushed back a goal of being profitable to next year instead of at the end of 2020.