Uber just announced the elimination of another 350 jobs from its Eats, autonomous vehicles, safety, insurance, and other teams. After two previous rounds of layoffs in July and September, this brings the company's total layoffs in recent months to 1,185.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reportedly told employees Monday that this would be the "last wave" of layoffs in the current restructuring process that began in the wake of the company's less than great IPO this past spring. As the Associated Press reports, Uber's stock was trading up 4 percent today on the layoff news.
It is not clear how many of the latest layoffs are in the Bay Area, where the company maintains its headquarters.
In July, Uber laid off much of its marketing department, some 400 people, and in August the company announced the opening of a "second" headquarters outside Dallas, leading to some speculation that the company might be downsizing its investment in the Bay Area for cost-cutting reasons. The company denied this, but with the elimination of over 1,100 jobs and the employee population in Dallas set to be around 3,000, it does sound like something is afoot — even if 1,100 is around 2 percent of the company's total workforce, while The Street puts it closer to 1 percent.
The New York Times received a copy of an email Khosrowshahi sent to employees this morning in which he said, "We all have to play a part by establishing a new normal in how we work: identifying and eliminating duplicate work, upholding high standards for performance, giving direct feedback and taking action when expectations aren’t being met, and eliminating the bureaucracy that tends to creep as companies grow."
As Uber has grown in multiple directions — expanding into food delivery, e-bicycles, and autonomous vehicles, to name a few — investors are understandably wary of how far off profitability may be.
The Street's columnist Annie Gaus put it to investors thusly: "Khosrowshahi kind of depicted it as an ongoing effort to eliminate bureaucracy and kind of cut the fat, eliminate redundancy within the organization. But for investors, the layoffs, you know, may also sort of provide some kind of assurance that Uber can, in fact, get its cost down, reduce overhead, and ultimately become profitable."