Uber is shedding hundreds of jobs as it places more emphasis on efforts to ease the cab company’s congestion in cities. This includes the addition of self-driving car tech startups, the exit of one of its smaller agents in California and the right of applicants to try out a different fare system.
The pink slips were posted at the company’s main head office and in the areas of human resources, sales, customer services and in engineering for administrative employees, including the 60 employees working on the self-driving car program.
Picking a new culture and management style is always hard and this one is no exception. It’s on a roll of automation at the company — these layoffs came after a blind driverless car crash in Tempe, Arizona last week that left four people injured. And the company has promised more self-driving cars this year.
However, an Uber spokesperson said the company wanted to “reimagine and reform our organization to allow us to bring more independence and diversity.”
“The most important issue for Uber today is meeting the needs of a growing, innovative and diverse workforce,” the spokesperson added. “Although we have a breadth of talented leaders across our culture and practices, we want to better integrate new skills into these critical areas in order to better equip the workforce to develop innovative and viable solutions to our growing needs.”
(The spokesperson denied reports that these layoffs were in response to Tempe’s crash last week)
In any case, the pink slips haven’t gone unnoticed. Shares in Uber, which have been moving up recently, were down 3 percent after hours, to $183.80.
Shares in the self-driving car startup Andreessen Horowitz, which has used to control Uber’s funds, were down 2 percent in the afternoon on news of these layoffs.
“Over the past year we’ve delivered a strong set of results, including record profits, profitability and the largest workforce growth since 2009,” the spokesperson said. “We continue to see enormous opportunity in software, marketing and sales to build our business. The reinvention of our business continues, and we’re moving quickly to implement future priorities that will help us win more market share and become a broader, more attractive company.”
These cuts aren’t the first seen at Uber. Company today also confirmed it has some 2,300 employees or more.