Uber lays off 400 people on its marketing team
Uber is laying off roughly one-third of its global marketing staff.
The newly-public company confirmed Monday that around 400 of the roughly 1,200 people in its marketing unit are being let go as part of a broader restructuring of the department.
In an email sent by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to staff and seen by CNN Business, he says, “we are not making these changes because Marketing has become less important to Uber. The exact opposite is true: we are making these changes because presenting a powerful, unified, and dynamic vision to the world has never been more important.”
The news, first reported by the New York Times, comes as the company faces pressure to clean up its finances following a lackluster Wall Street debut in May. Uber has a history of steep loses and its revenue growth is slowing.
Uber lost $1.01 billion in the first three months of this year, according to the company’s first earnings report as a public company. Revenue from its core ridesharing business grew just 9% from the year prior. The company is set to report its second quarter earnings results next week.
“There’s a general sense that while we’ve grown fast, we’ve slowed down,” Khosrowshahi said in the email.
The layoffs are just the latest turbulence inside Uber in the less than three months since it went public.
In early June, Khosrowshahi announced that two top executives were leaving the company, including chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina. Messina had only been on the job for nine months but Khosrowshahi said her departure was in response to a decision to combine its marketing, communications and policy teams. Jill Hazelbaker, who has been at the company since 2015, would lead the team.
According to an Uber spokesperson, Hazelbaker and Khosrowshahi announced a new marketing team structure to staff Monday. The changes are meant to streamline the brand across its various audiences, products and regions.
“Many of our teams are too big, which creates overlapping work, makes for unclear decision owners, and can lead to mediocre results,” Khosrowshahi said in the email. “As a company, we can do more to keep the bar high, and expect more of ourselves and each other.”
“Put simply,” Khosrowshahi added, “we need to get our edge back.”