Uber cuts 400 marketing jobs amid concerns over slowing growth

Ride-hailing company reorganising following tumultuous initial public offering in May

Uber’s cost-cutting move follows an executive shake-up last month that saw the departure of chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina. Photograph: Angelo Merendino/AFP/Getty Images

Uber’s cost-cutting move follows an executive shake-up last month that saw the departure of chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina. Photograph: Angelo Merendino/AFP/Getty Images

 

Uber eliminated a third of its marketing staff on Monday as part of a corporate reorganisation aimed at centralising control and cutting costs.

The company cut 400 positions out of a 1,200-person marketing staff and a total global employee population of 25,000. The move follows an executive shake-up last month that saw the departure of Rebecca Messina, Uber’s chief marketing officer, and the combination of her division with the company’s communications and policy team.

There’s a general sense that while we’ve grown fast, we’ve slowed down . . . Many of our teams are too big, which creates overlapping work

Uber has been under scrutiny since its tumultuous May initial public offering, which has raised questions over the business model of ride-hailing and whether the company can ever turn a profit. In the first quarter it reported a $1 billion operating loss. Shares closed down 1.4 per cent at $43.88 on Monday, below its IPO price of $45.

Unwieldy

In an email to employees on Monday, chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi acknowledged concerns over slowing growth and an unwieldy organisational structure in which work is duplicated across multiple products and regional offices.

“Today, there’s a general sense that while we’ve grown fast, we’ve slowed down . . . Many of our teams are too big, which creates overlapping work, makes for unclear decision owners, and can lead to mediocre results,” he wrote. “So, put simply, we need to get our edge back. Being fast wins.”

Mr Khosrowshahi said the trimmer marketing structure would allow Uber “to build a consistent brand narrative across audience, products and regions” – the goal he had laid out when making marketing the responsibility of Jill Hazelbaker, the company’s communications and policy chief, in June.

Since the IPO, Mr Khosrowshahi has taken a more hands-on approach to running the company’s daily operations. At the same time Uber announced Ms Messina was leaving, it also said Barney Harford, its chief operating officer and Mr Khosrowshahi’s top deputy, would depart.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019