The company is reeling from the blow dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to WSJ, Uber’s ridesharing business was down 80 percent in April, compared to the previous year. Prior to the pandemic, ridesharing made up about three-quarters of Uber’s revenue. While UberEats has provided some relief, it’s not enough to make up for the drastic drop in ridesharing. Uber is now requiring riders and drivers to wear masks and developing tech to make sure drivers comply, but whether that will lead to more rides is hard to say.
Khosrowshahi said the company will wind down its product incubator and AI lab and that it’s reevaluating its freight and autonomous driving businesses. Uber is exploring “strategic alternatives” for Uber Works, its tool to help drivers find work at other companies, and it’s reportedly in talks with Grubhub about an acquisition.
Of course, Uber is not alone. Lyft plans to lay off nearly 1,000 employees, or about 17 percent of its workforce. And non-transportation companies have made deep cuts too. Airbnb recently laid off 25 percent of its workforce, about 1,900 employees. Those numbers don’t account for the drivers and hosts who have lost income as well. Meanwhile, Uber is still facing a lawsuit for allegedly misclassifying drivers.