Uber cutting 20 percent of workforce amid coronavirus: report

Uber is planning to slash its workforce by 20 percent as the coronavirus ravages its rides business, a new report claims.

The ride-hail startup’s cuts would see more than 5,000 heads roll in the coming weeks, according to The Information (paywall), and prompted the resignation of longtime executive Thuam Pham.

Pham, who joined the then-fledgling Uber in 2013 and currently serves as its chief technology officer, has decided to quit as the proposed cuts could impact 800 of his engineers, according to the report, which cited unnamed sources.

Uber’s ride-hailing business is down more than 80 percent in recent weeks, according to the report, as tens of millions around the world are locked indoors.

The San Francisco-based company earlier this month scrapped its 2023 financial guidance, saying it was “impossible to predict with precision” the impact that the coronavirus will have on its business.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi last month said that the company had plenty of cash to ride out the coronavirus storm, saying that even in a worst-case scenario where the company’s rides business plummeted by 80 percent for the rest of the year, Uber would still have $4 billion in cash.

“We are very fortunate to have a strong cash position with about $10 billion of unrestricted cash as of end of February,” Khosrowshahi said. “In any crisis, liquidity is key.”

Uber in 2019 handed out more than 1,000 pink slips as it trimmed down Uber Eats as well as its marketing and engineering teams.

“Days like today are tough for us all,” Khosrowshahi said at the time, adding that he and his executive team “will do everything we can to make certain that we won’t need or have another day like this ahead of us.”

Shares of Uber were flat in extended Tuesday trading after the stock closed at $30.12.


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