“The COVID crisis has taken an enormous toll on the entire world,” he wrote. “Our guiding principle for decision-making is to ensure we emerge from the crisis in the strongest possible position to achieve the company’s mission.”
Lyft, which went public a year ago on the promise of creating a one-stop-shop transportation app, said it made the decision in the best interest of its financial health.
“It is now clear that the COVID-19 crisis is going to have broad-reaching implications for the economy, which impacts our business,” Green said in a statement. "We have therefore made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our team. Our guiding principle for decision-making right now is to ensure we emerge from the crisis in the strongest possible position to achieve the company’s mission.”
Employees were receiving individual emails Wednesday morning to learn what would happen with their jobs. Lyft said in a financial filing that 982 employees would be affected. The company was set to hold a virtual all-staff meeting later Wednesday morning.
One email viewed by The Washington Post advised the laid off employee, “We regret that we have to deliver this news this way — but for the sake of clarity, I need to let you know that there’s no longer a role at Lyft for you.”
Lyft said pay cuts would be tiered so that senior executives forgo 30 percent of their salary, vice-president-level employees give up 20 percent and other salaried employees see a 10 percent drop in pay.
Ride-hailing companies already were on shaky financial footing after going public last year, as their stock debuts increased pressure to trim costs and cut down on heavily subsidized financial incentives used to gain riders. In many cities, the coronavirus means residents sheltering in place could not use the services at all unless they were conducting essential travel.
Uber also is weighing how to respond to the crisis after the coronavirus has cut into ride-hailing by as much as 80 percent in some markets, the company told employees this week.
“As you would expect, the company is looking at every possible scenario to ensure we get to the other side of this crisis in a stronger position than ever,” Uber spokesman Noah Edwardsen said in a statement.