Uber axes 3,700 jobs as coronavirus pandemic sees drop in demand

Uber is cutting nearly 4,000 jobs as the coronavirus pandemic results in a drop in demand.

The US company will reduce its global customer support and recruiting teams by approximately 3,700 full-time roles – roughly 14% of its 26,900-person workforce. Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is also set to waive his base salary – set at $1 million (£809,690) in 2019 – until the end of the year, according to the Financial Times.

The redundancies will cost $20 million in ‘severance and other termination benefits’, a stock market filing revealed. The document did not disclose how the redundancies will affect the 200 employees in the UK – this figure not including the thousands of Britons who work as drivers.

A company spokesperson said: ‘With people taking fewer trips, the unfortunate reality is that there isn’t enough work for many of our front-line customer support employees. Since we don’t know how long a recovery will take, we are taking steps to bring our costs in line with the size of our business today.

‘This was a tough decision, but it is the right one to help protect the company’s long-term health and ensure we come out of this crisis stronger.’

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Uber was already struggling to make profit before the Covid-19 outbreak, reporting a loss of $8.5 billion (£6.9 billion) for 2019.

Mr Khosrowshahi said in February the company’s era of growth ‘at all costs’ is over, but he expected it to be profitable in 2020.

In March, it was revealed that demand for Uber taxis had fallen by more than 60% in hard-hit coronavirus areas, but takeaway orders on Uber Eats had increased.

The company will report first quarter financial results on Thursday.

It comes as analysis shows that 50% of British adults are now receiving some sort of funding from the state, as millions across the country struggle amid the pandemic.

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