Uber is cutting some employees as part of a ‘more rigorous approach’ to performance reviews

  • Uber is conducting “even more rigorous” performance reviews this year, a representative told Insider.
  • The company plans to backfill the roles of employees cut in the process, the representative said.
  • Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi previously said there were no plans for broad layoffs, and an Uber spokesperson said that hasn’t changed.

Uber is cutting some employees during an “even more rigorous” set of ongoing performance reviews, the company confirmed to Insider on Tuesday. But it plans to hire new employees to backfill impacted roles, a spokesperson said.

The move comes at a time when layoffs and job cuts at major tech companies including Microsoft, Google, and Meta have dominated headlines, with more than 108,000 employees already laid off from tech companies this year, according to the site Layoffs.fyi, which tallies and documents tech layoffs.

But Uber’s chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi reportedly said at the Davos World Economic Forum in January that the company is not planning layoffs. 

That hasn’t changed, an Uber spokesperson told Insider. Rather, these cuts are a function of more stringent performance reviews, they said.

“This year, we’ve taken an even more rigorous approach to our performance review process to ensure our talent bar remains very high,” a representative for Uber said in a statement to Insider. “We plan to backfill these positions and will continue to invest in attracting and retaining top talent at Uber.”   

It’s not unusual for companies to cut some jobs as part of a performance review process, and the total number of impacted roles at Uber could not be learned.

But Uber has indicated plans to maintain headcount, and seems to be part of a push among some tech companies to impose higher standards at reviews. For instance, Insider has previously reported in December that Meta would take a stricter approach for its performance reviews in January.

Meta planned to give its worst performance labels of “met most” expectations and “needs support,” to about two times more employees, Insider reported. About 10% of its workforce have since received low reviews, The Wall Street Journal reported this month.

Meta laid off some 11,000 workers in November, while Microsoft said in January that it plans to lay off some 10,000 employees, and Google also said that it plans to lay off 12,000 employees

Uber reported a fourth-quarter revenue of $8.6 billion on February 8, a 49% year-over-year increase. 

“We ended 2022 with our strongest quarter ever, with robust demand and record margins,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement at the time.

The company, which saw gross bookings grow 19% year over year in the fourth quarter, has projected continued growth in bookings for the first quarter.

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