• Uber will lay off more than 5,000 employees over the next few weeks
  • Demand for its ride-hailing, food delivery and other services have evaporated as COVID-19 keeps people home
  • The company's engineering group is expected to lose 800 people

Uber will forge ahead with its plan to fire up to 20% of its total world workforce of some 27,000 persons (10,700 in the United States) in a bid to ensure its survival amid the immense demand destruction inflicted on its people-based services by COVID-19.

Among the first to see the door will be more than 5,000 employees at various worldwide locations. Many of these might be people employed at the company's largest departments such as engineering, the advanced technologies group, Uber Money, which is the financial products unit, and a group comprising those who work in various programs for drivers, safety.

The transportation group employs 724 people in the U.S., while Uber Eats employs 471, meaning there won't be many job cuts here.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently told employees the company's layoff plans will be finalized within two weeks, Business Insider reported. A company executive said the 5,000 people to be laid-off include those who would have been lost through attrition.

The huge layoffs haven’t been finalized but will be implemented in stages over the next few weeks. About 5,400 of Uber’s 27,000 employees will lose their jobs as a consequence.

Interestingly, Uber’s chief technology officer, Thuan Pham, has resigned from the company. Pham, who heads the engineering group, joined Uber in 2013 and was the company's longest-serving senior executive. With 3,800 employees, engineering is Uber's largest department.

Pham has notified his managers about his plan to leave. Rumor has it 800 people in engineering will lose their jobs in the coming weeks under the proposed job cuts.

Overseas casualties will include Uber employees in India. Uber India employs 2,000 people and intends to lay off anywhere from 500 to 700 of these people. On Tuesday, Uber India said it will implement the layoffs within the next two weeks. It's expected to announce the firings when India lifts its lockdown.

“With this, Uber would be laying off about 25% to 30% of its overall workforce in India," said one source cited by media.

Uber Eats is being discontinued in seven markets as part of a strategic shift by the ride-hailing company
Uber Eats is being discontinued in seven markets as part of a strategic shift by the ride-hailing company. AFP / Philippe LOPEZ