Uber’s Layoff Total Rises Past 1,000 With Latest Cuts
SAN FRANCISCO - Uber laid off 350 employees Monday, in the latest indication that the ride-hailing company is trying to respond to concerns among investors that it is losing too much money.
The cuts, the third round in recent months, were focused in the autonomous vehicle unit, operations, recruiting and customer support, an Uber spokesman said. Since July, the company has cut more than 1,000 jobs, more than 2% of its work force.
Shares of Uber began trading on Wall Street in May, in one of the most anticipated initial public offerings in recent years. But the stock’s performance has been disappointing, with its price down about 30% since the first day of trading.
Investors reacted favorably to the layoffs Monday, sending Uber’s share price up 4% in afternoon trading.
In July, Uber laid off 400 people from its marketing department. And in September, it cut 435 people from its engineering and product groups. Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, had asked executives to reduce their staffs and reorganize.
In an email to employees announcing the latest layoffs, Khosrowshahi wrote, “We all have to play a part by establishing a new normal in how we work: identifying and eliminating duplicate work, upholding high standards for performance, giving direct feedback and taking action when expectations aren’t being met, and eliminating the bureaucracy that tends to creep as companies grow.”
Uber’s self-driving car unit, the Autonomous Technology Group, or ATG, was spun out from Uber in April after a $1 billion investment from SoftBank, Toyota and the Japanese automaker Denso. The deal valued ATG at $7.25 billion.
The ride-hailing unit has long been a source of controversy for the company. Anthony Levandowski, a onetime head of the unit, was charged in August with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets from Google. Uber also settled a lawsuit related to the theft claims with Waymo, the self-driving car unit spun out of Google.
Khosrowshahi has been under pressure to stem financial losses after Uber’s initial public offering. In August, Uber reported a record quarterly loss of $5.2 billion while it also experienced its slowest-ever revenue growth.
Investors have questioned the strength of Uber’s ride-hailing business, while the company has pointed to its growth in its secondary businesses, including food delivery. Last week, Uber announced its intent to acquire the grocery delivery company Cornershop.
The company is set to report its third-quarter earnings in November.