- Uber fired 400 marketing employees this week as the company seeks to streamline some bloated departments.
- Morale had been low on the marketing team for months, other former employees say, leaving few surprised by the shakeup.
- In an email to all company employees, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the move wasn’t about shrinking marketing, but about streamlining it after ten years of growth.
- Read the full account of how the mass layoffs went down on Business Insider Prime.
Uber on Monday fired 400 marketing employees from its marketing, shrinking the department to about two-third its previous size.
In an email to all staff, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the move was not to de-emphasize marketing at the ride-hailing’s marketing efforts, but rather to streamline them after ten years of growth.
The layoffs began with an 8 a.m. email from newly installed head of communications, Jill Hazelbaker, on Monday, followed by individual meetings with human resources representatives for each affected employee.
Here’s the full email Khosrowshahi sent to employees on Monday:
This morning, Jill announced important changes we’re making to the Marketing organization, which you can see below. Since I asked her to take on Marketing last month, Jill has worked around the clock to ensure we have the right structure in place to build a consistent brand narrative across audiences, products and regions.
I also want to be clear that we are not making these changes because Marketing has become less important to Uber. The exact opposite is true: we are making these changes because presenting a powerful, unified, and dynamic vision to the world has never been more important. Under Jill’s leadership, Marketing will soon be operating at full strength.
These changes are incredibly difficult to make because they have a huge impact on people’s lives. But a big part of our job as leaders is to make tough calls based on what is best for Uber and our long-term future, and to be honest with you about why we’re making them.
It’s also critical that we look at the big picture, admit when we aren’t where we need to be as a company, and, most importantly, get back on track. Today, there’s a general sense that while we’ve grown fast, we’ve slowed down. You can see it in Pulse Survey feedback and All Hands questions, and you can feel it in much of our day-to-day work. This happens naturally as companies get bigger, but it is something we need to address, and quickly.
Much of Jill’s note captures the symptoms of a broader problem: many of our teams are too big, which creates overlapping work, makes for unclear decision owners, and can lead to mediocre results. As a company, we can do more to keep the bar high, and expect more of ourselves and each other.
So, put simply, we need to get our edge back. Being fast wins; coupling that with strong alignment and exceptional talent makes magic—and we need magic to deliver on our world-changing mission.
This topic has been a consistent one for the ELT over the last few months. We are all committed to ensuring we build the best organization that can execute with the highest standards to win in this enormous and enormously competitive market.
Good simply isn’t good enough—we are going for great. But greatness doesn’t come easy. This is one tough and totally necessary step that we have taken. I’m here to win a race that really, really matters. And I’m psyched to be in it with you.
I’ll share more tomorrow at the All Hands—see you there.
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