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REALITY CHECK

Uber closes customer support office in Los Angeles

Uber sign is seen on the outside of their Greenlight Hub in the Brooklyn borough of New York
Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
Seeking to cut losses.
  • Michelle Cheng
By Michelle Cheng

Reporter

Uber is shutting down its customer support office in downtown Los Angeles, resulting in the layoffs of about 80 people. This comes after the ride-hailing giant said it will be moving up its profitability target to the end of 2020.

The closing of the office was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Sources told the Times that the staffers were not given advance notice that their jobs would be shifted to a larger customer support office in Manila. The Times also reported that most of the workers are hourly-paid customer support staffers who focus on driver outreach such as resolving account issues and explaining incentives and promotions.

Workers were told that they would receive severance packages and could apply for new jobs within Uber. 

“In order to focus our resources in our larger customer support centers, we are closing the Uber support office in downtown Los Angeles,” said an Uber spokesperson in an emailed statement to a Quartz. The company’s support office in Santa Monica was unaffected, as well as larger support offices in other cities in the US. Uber has more than 27,000 employees.

Since going public last May, Uber has cut more than 1,200 people in marketing, self-driving, and engineering teams. After its Eats business struggled in India, Uber sold the India chapter to Zomato last month. That same month, rival Lyft announced that it will cut 90 people from its enterprise sales and marketing teams. With investors growing wary of massive losses on public markets, both Uber and Lyft have said they’re focusing on achieving profitable growth. 

In the fourth quarter, Uber reported a total revenue rise of 37% to $4.07 billion and its net loss widened to $1.1 billion from a loss of $877 million the year before. Uber’s shares are down 11% from its offering price. 

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