Uber lays off 350 employees in Eats, autonomous vehicles

Uber lays off 350 employees in Eats, autonomous vehicles

Uber announced Monday it would lay off about 350 employees, including some from the Advanced Technologies Group, which has headquarters in Pittsburgh and is leading the company’s work with autonomous vehicles.

The company could not disclose which ATG offices or how many local employees were affected, according to Uber communications manager Sarah Abboud.

Ms. Abboud said the Advanced Technologies Group team had more than 1,200 employees before Monday’s announcement and the headcount will remain above that mark. The layoff announcement will not affect the work the group is currently doing, she added.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said he didn’t think the announcement was any cause for concern as of now. The self-driving car industry in Pittsburgh will continue to change, he predicted, and investment will continue to be very strong.

“They’re going to continue to move forward and do research, them as much as anybody else,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.

“The good news is, we as a region, don’t have all our eggs in one basket like we did in heavy manufacturing and steel. … Our hope is that they continue to grow, and, as this technology evolves, that the work is done here,” he said. “We’re hoping the manufacturing and assembly and all the downstream portions of this industry benefit the region.”

The Advanced Technologies Group is responsible for developing and testing Uber’s autonomous vehicle technology. The company is testing about 20 self-driving cars on Pittsburgh roads, as well as other vehicles in San Francisco and Toronto. The company plans to start testing in Dallas next month.

The layoffs will also affect Uber’s food delivery, safety, insurance and other teams.

The move is the latest in a string of staff reductions at the California-based ride-hailing giant since its ill-fated initial public offering in May. Uber laid off 400 employees in the marketing department in July, and 435 employees on its product and engineering teams in September.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an email to employees Monday that this was the final phase of the layoff process that began months ago.

Mr. Khosrowshahi said every employee has to play a part in establishing a new normal, by identifying and eliminating duplicate work and taking actions when expectations aren’t being met.

“Our leaders have looked carefully at their teams to ensure our organizations are structured for success for the next few years. This has resulted in difficult but necessary changes to ensure we have the right people in the right roles in the right locations,” Mr. Khosrowshahi wrote in the email, which was obtained by TechCrunch. Two Uber executives confirmed the context of the email.

Uber’s stock was up 4% in afternoon trading.

The Associated Press contributed.

Lauren Rosenblatt: [email protected], 412-263-1565.

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