Uber lays off 400 people to minimise overlap in work

Anne Freier

In App Business. August 5, 2019

Uber last week said it was laying off around 400 people from its marketing departments to minimise costs and streamline operations.

The company’s 1,200-strong marketing team thus would lose a third of its workforce across 75 global offices. Redundancies have affected a wide range of job titles from marketing managers to copywriters.

The announcement follows company losses of $1 billion during Q1 2019.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the reorganisation of the marketing team would be led by VP of performance marketing Mike Strickman.

Khosrowshahi explained in an email to TechCrunch that the marketing team had become “too big, which creates overlapping work, makes for unclear decision owners, and can lead to mediocre results”.

He admitted that growth had slowed after the company grew rapidly early on. The lay-off is one of the biggest the company has had since 2009.

A spokesperson confirmed to The Drum that Uber was trying to provide a “more consistent external brand narrative across audiences, products, and regions” through the move.

“Newly public companies who have high expense to revenue ratios while private often need to cut costs to meet the goals they have promised public investors they would achieve,” Brian Wieser, president of GroupM told The Drum. “For any company who has made these promises, the more significant the expenses as a percentage of revenue, the more significant the cuts that will be needed.”

The changes are unlikely to have a damaging effect on Uber’s marketing team as it remains in a strong position.