Uber loses top tech officer as company reportedly considers laying off 20% of workforce

Thuan Pham's departure comes as the company has seen an increased delivery demand due to the coronavirus

Uber announced in a regulatory filing Tuesday that chief technology officer Thuan Pham will step down from the company effective May 16.

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“While the work is never done, I feel comfortable hanging up my hat at a time when the Uber Engineering team is at peak productivity," Pham said. "We have built robust system scale and stability, and are well prepared to face the future. This has been a labor of love for me, and I am so proud of what we have done as a team.”

Thuan Pham, CTO of Uber, during day one of RISE on July 9, 2019, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong. (Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Pham, who joined Uber in 2013, was the longest-serving top executive at the ride-hailing company.

His departure comes as the company has seen an increased demand for food delivery due to the coronavirus. In order to keep up, Uber announced it would expand its delivery services and offer 10 million free rides to people in need. The company has also teamed up with companies like Tim Horton's and Stop & Shop to help deliver food to seniors and others forced to shelter in place.

FOOD DELIVERY WARS INTENSE IN CORONAVIRUS WORLD

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber Technologies, speaks with the media in New Delhi, India, Feb. 22, 2018. (REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal)

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi praised Pham for his contributions to the company.

“As the leader of our engineering organization for the last seven years, Thuan has made important contributions that have helped make Uber into the global technology platform it is today," Khosrowshahi said. "I am grateful for his leadership and we all wish him the best in the future.”

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The news comes as the company is reportedly considering cutting roughly 20 percent of its workforce. The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out demand for its ride-hailing services in recent weeks by roughly 80 percent compared to the same period last year, according to The Information. Recent gains in its food delivery service, Uber Eats, have failed to make up for big losses in its core ride-hailing product.

“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," an Uber spokesperson told FOX Business.

An Uber car service wais to pick up passengers March 5, 2016, on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, NY.

More than 5,400 of Uber's 27,000 employees could lose their jobs as a result of the layoffs, including nearly 800 people from the company's 3,800-person engineering department. Cutting 5,000 people could save Uber close to $1 billion annually on salaries and associated expenses, according to rough estimates by The Information.

Uber laid off 435 employees last September, mostly in the U.S., in its product and engineering departments. The layoffs, which included more than 250 engineers, came after the company cut 400 employees from its marketing unit in July — a third of the total group at the time.

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Earlier this month, the company said it would withdraw its financial forecast for the rest of the year in response to the coronavirus. The company will provide an update on its coronavirus response during its first-quarter earnings call May 7.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
UBERUBER TECHNOLOGIES INC.50.60-0.66-1.29%

Uber stock closed at $30.12 per share during Tuesday's trading session.

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