SACRAMENTO — Uber laid off 435 workers in its product and engineering teams on Tuesday, the company’s second round of cuts in recent months as it struggles to make money.
The cuts, which total about 8 percent of Uber’s global product and engineering group, follow 400 layoffs in July from the marketing team. In a message to employees about the layoffs on Tuesday that was viewed by The New York Times, Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said the company had gone off course as it grew and must streamline to regain its competitive edge.
… Uber has been under pressure this year over its long-term viability. The company had a troubled initial public offering in May as investors questioned its ride-hailing business, which is expensive to operate. Uber’s stock slid below its offering price on its first day of trading and continues to struggle. In August, it reported a record quarterly loss of $5.2 billion and its slowest-ever revenue growth. Uber’s shares rose about 4 percent on Tuesday.
… Uber faces other labor problems. On Tuesday, California lawmakers approved a bill that would force companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees. Uber relies on independent contractors as drivers, as their freelance status helps keep costs down by allowing the company to not provide full-time benefits or pay. Uber and other gig economy companies worked for months to cut a deal with labor groups to carve out ride-hailing drivers from the bill, but those negotiations failed. The bill is widely expected to pass.