Uber fires over 400 employees in second major round of layoffs this year
  • Uber laid off 435 employees on Tuesday in its engineering and product departments, TechCrunch first reported. 
  • In a statement, Uber said the move was about staying nimble as a 27,000-person, global company. 
  • Tuesday’s firings follow a similarly sized cull in Uber’s marketing department in July. 

Uber fired 435 employees from its product and engineering teams on Tuesday in its second major round of layoffs this year.

170 people have departed the company’s product team, with another 265 engineers leaving as well, an Uber representative confirmed to Business Insider. TechCrunch first reported the news.

In a statement, an Uber representative said the latest layoffs were another bid to find efficiencies in a now decade-old company and remain agile in a competitive field. 

“Our hope with these changes is to reset and improve how we work day to day—ruthlessly prioritizing, and always holding ourselves accountable to a high bar of performance and agility,” the representative said. 

“While certainly painful in the moment, especially for those directly affected, we believe that this will result in a much stronger technical organization, which going forward will continue to hire some of the very best talent around the world.”

Tuesday’s layoffs follow a hiring freeze in some departments in the United States as Uber seeks to cut costs and become profitable to appease anxious investors. That hiring freeze has since been lifted, the representative confirmed. 

Most of the layoffs were in the United States.

Earlier in August, nervous engineers told Business Insider they feared they could be next. Other cost-cutting measures have included nixing the traditional balloons that employees receive on their work anniversaries and asking employees to be conscious about their travel expenses. 

Among the cost-cutting efforts, however, are new investments that will expand Uber’s presence well beyond its Silicon Valley roots. The company this week announced a $200 million investment in a new Chicago office to house a growing freight team, as well as a new office in Dallas to house sales and human resources employees. 

Shares of Uber rose some 3.3% in trading Tuesday but remain more than 20% below initial trading prices following the company’s massive IPO earlier this year. 

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Here’s Uber’s full statement regarding Tuesday’s layoffs: 

Our CEO has asked everyone on our management team a simple but important question: if we started from scratch, would we design our organizations as they stand today? After careful consideration, our Engineering and Product leaders concluded the answer to this question in many respects was no. Previously, to meet the demands of a hyper-growth startup, we hired rapidly and in a decentralized way.

While this worked for Uber in the past, now that we have over 27,000 full-time employees in cities around the world, we need to shift how we design our organizations: lean, exceptionally high-performing teams, with clear mandates and the ability to execute faster than our competitors.

Today, we’re making some changes to get us back on track, which include reducing the size of some teams to ensure we are staffed appropriately against our top priorities. These were incredibly difficult calls as it means some of our employees no longer have a role, specifically around 170 people in our Product group and 265 people in Engineering, which is roughly 8 percent of those two orgs.

Our hope with these changes is to reset and improve how we work day to day—ruthlessly prioritizing, and always holding ourselves accountable to a high bar of performance and agility. While certainly painful in the moment, especially for those directly affected, we believe that this will result in a much stronger technical organization, which going forward will continue to hire some of the very best talent around the world.

See Also:

  • Lyft is requiring safety education courses for its drivers after a spate of sexual assaults
  • Uber is opening massive new offices in Chicago and Dallas despite recent cost-cutting efforts
  • Lyft’s newest service: Driving yourself

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