20 May 2020
Uber Axes 3700 Jobs Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the world, the taxi industry has been hit hard, with passenger journeys falling massively as the majority of the public remains in their homes. Many taxi companies have had to find different ways of generating income, from shopping for the vulnerable, to introducing food delivery services from restaurants.
Uber has been no exception to this. As the company has been exploring different ways to generate income, from partnering with delivery services, to encouraging drivers to sign up for Uber Eats, the company’s ‘Rides’ sector has taken a massive hit with lower trip volumes.
As a response to this, Uber has made the decision to reduce its customer support and recruitment teams by 3700 full-time employee roles. A filing has revealed that this decision, however, is likely going to cost the company up to $20 million in severance and other termination benefits.
Along with laying off 3700 staff members, the company has also made the difficult decision to permanently close approximately 180 driver centres, known as Greenlight Hubs, across the globe. The centres serve as hubs, where new users can sign up, learn how to use the application, and receive assistance for any issues that may come up when driving. These closures will account for up to 40% of Uber’s driver centres.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi sent this memo to the company’s employees:
I wanted to let you know that we just announced the elimination of around 3700 roles in CommOps and Recruiting, and the closure of 40% of our Greenlight locations.
With the reality of our Rides trips volumes being down significantly, our need for CommOps as well as in-person support is down substantially. And with our hiring freeze, there simply isn’t enough work for recruiters.
This is not in any way a reflection of these employees’ efforts or contributions to getting us to where we are, as a service that everyone associates with movement and earnings opportunities. We wouldn’t be here without their efforts and I want to personally thank them for everything they’ve done for Uber.
We have worked hard to put together generous severance packages with a longer period of healthcare coverage to help provide a bridge, and we are also supporting EXTs [external applicants] whose roles are affected by today’s decision.
That’s today’s news. But, as I said at yesterday’s All Hands, this is one part of a broader exercise to make the difficult adjustments to our cost structure (team size and office footprint) so that it matches the reality of our business (our bookings, revenue and margins). We are looking at many scenarios and at each and every cost, both variable and fixed, across the company. We want to be smart, to move fast, to retain as many of our great people as we can, and treat everyone with dignity, support and respect. As I said yesterday, you can expect we will have a further, final update for you within the next two weeks.
Days like this are brutal. I am truly sorry that we are doing this, just as I know that we have to do this. And while it’s easier said than done, we have to keep our heads down and keep executing, because that – and nothing less – is what will keep Uber going and get us to the other side.
Given this news, and since we have Q1’20 earnings tomorrow, I thought it would be good to get everyone together again on Friday for a Global All Hands, where we can walk through our financial results and today’s changes, and can continue to answer your questions as openly as possible. Keep an eye out for an invite soon.
“Fashion On the Screen At Westfield Stratford City – London.” by Jim Linwood used under CC BY 2.0 / Modified from original
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