The layoffs are part of a larger downsizing movement by Uber. The company is shutting down 45 offices in addition to laying off 3,000 employees. Weeks ago, Uber had laid off 3,700 employees. With 6,700 workers total dismissed, Uber has reduced its workforce by at least a quarter.
"I knew that I had to make a hard decision, not because we are a public company, or to protect or stock price, or to please our Board or investors," said CEO Dana Khosrowshahi in a memo. "I had to make this decision because our very future as an essential service for the cities of the world - our being there for millions of people and businesses who rely on us - demands it. We must establish ourselves as a self-sustaining enterprise that no longer relies on new capital or investors to keep growing, expanding, and innovating."
Uber's downsizing including shuttering its AI Labs and shutting down its Incubator service, which solicited innovations for products and services from employees and consumers, less than a year after launch. The company is also considering what to do with Uber Works, a "matchmaking" service that helped consumers find available work to do.
There is some silver lining for the company, however. The company's Uber Eats division has been seeing increased business amid the pandemic, even as Uber ridership is down 80%. Social distancing mandates and shelter-in-place orders have resulted in delivery becoming an extremely popular option for consumers, and a lucrative venture for companies such as Uber that have invested in gig-based delivery.
"If there is one silver lining regarding this crisis, it's that Eats has become an even more important resource for people at home and for restaurants," said Khosrowshahi, though he was quick to mention that while Eats was doing well, its revenue was not enough to cover Uber's expenses.