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Uber Lays Off More Than 400; 'Making Some Changes To Get Us Back On Track'

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Ride-sharing giant Uber laid off more than 400 employees in its engineering and production divisions Tuesday in an effort to reshape the company and refocus on its top priorities, officials said.

The production team cut 170 people positions while 265 people were let go from the engineering team.

"Today, we're making some changes to get us back on track, which include reducing the size of some teams to ensure we are staffed appropriately against our top priorities," the company said in a release. "These were incredibly difficult calls as it means some of our employees no longer have a role."

Tech Crunch reported of those laid off, more than 85% erre based in the U.S.; 10%erare in Asia-Pacific and 5% were in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Investors on Wall Street responded positively to the news as Uber shares climbed from an open of $32 a share to a high of $33.74 during the trading day.

Uber officials said the cuts were a necessary part of the company's evolution from startup to an established leader in the ride-share world. The cuts, however, did not impact Uber Eats or Uber Freight.

"Our CEO has asked everyone on our management team a simple but important question: if we started from scratch, would we design our organizations as they stand today?" the company said in its release. "After careful consideration, our Engineering and Product leaders concluded the answer to this question in many respects was no. Previously, to meet the demands of a hyper-growth startup, we hired rapidly and in a decentralized way."

"While this worked for Uber in the past ... We need to shift how we design our organizations: lean, exceptionally high-performing teams, with clear mandates and the ability to execute faster than our competitors."

But the layoffs did not mean Uber was pulling back on its investment in technology.

"While certainly painful in the moment, especially for those directly affected, we believe that this will result in a much stronger technical organization, which going forward will continue to hire some of the very best talent around the world," the company said.

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