Uber has cut 3,000 jobs from its workforce, its second major wave of layoffs in two weeks as the coronavirus slashed demand for rides. The San Francisco company has cut a quarter of its workforce since the year began, eliminating 3,700 people from the payroll earlier this month. Uber will be re-focusing on its core business, moving people and delivering food and groceries, said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, in a note to employees Monday.
The ride-hailing giant will be closing or consolidating 45 offices globally, and almost all departments will be affected by layoffs. The company is closing its business for developing products and services for its platform and a unit working on artificial intelligence. It will also pursue strategic alternatives for its job recruiting app, Uber Works, Khosrowshahi said.
“This is a decision I struggled with,” Khosrowshahi said. “Our balance sheet is strong, Eats is doing great, Rides looks a little better, maybe we can wait this damn virus out …. I wanted there to be a different answer … but there simply was no good news to hear.”
Uber’s rides business, the company’s main profit generator, fell 80 percent in April compared to the same month last year.
“Ultimately, I realised that hoping the world would return to normal within any predictable time frame, so we could pick up where we left off on our path to profitability, was not a viable option,” he said.
Uber lost $2.9 billion (roughly Rs. 21,948 crores) in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic decimated its overseas investments. Companies that rely on the sharing economy have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, as people stay indoors and shy away from shared services to reduce the virus’ spread.