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Uber announces 435 layoffs on its product and engineering teams

The firm said the changes amounted to about 8 percent of the product and engineering staff.

(Eric Risberg/AP)

Uber announced more than 400 layoffs in its engineering and product units Tuesday amid financial pressure stemming from its initial public offering, weeks after axing a similar number of marketing employees.

Company leaders blamed bloated departments for the cuts, which amounted to roughly 8 percent of the combined teams, Uber said in a statement. That comprised 265 engineering employees and 170 members of its product team. That compares with about 400 members of the marketing team who were abruptly laid off in July amid similar concerns.

“Our hope with these changes is to reset and improve how we work day-to-day — ruthlessly prioritizing, and always holding ourselves accountable to a high bar of performance and agility,” the company said in its statement. “While certainly painful in the moment, especially for those directly affected, we believe that this will result in a much stronger technical organization."

Internal data shows Uber’s reputation hasn’t changed much since #DeleteUber

The statement, first reported by TechCrunch, was confirmed by an Uber spokesman. Uber has a total of about 27,000 employees worldwide.

The Washington Post recently reported that despite a half-billion-dollar marketing campaign last year, Uber’s internal metrics, based on a mixture of internal tracking and external polling, have recently placed brand sentiment near the same lows measured in the depths of the #DeleteUber movement in 2017. Uber’s brand dilemma has also complicated its already rocky start as a public company.

Uber rang in its IPO with champagne and mimosas. Then the hangover began.

The company lost $5.2 billion in its most recent quarter, prompting stock prices to dip further. The need to ease investor concerns has triggered belt-tightening, including the marketing layoffs. The changes prompted some employees to suspect more cuts could be coming, workers told The Post.

Uber said in the statement the changes were made after Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi asked executives to examine their teams through the lens of how they might look if they were building them from scratch.

“Previously, to meet the demands of a hypergrowth start-up, we hired rapidly and in a decentralized way,” Uber said in the statement.