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posted by janrinok on Wednesday May 11, @01:05PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Uber CEO vows to be 'hardcore about costs,' slow down hiring in memo to employees:

Uber is going to slow down hiring and reduce its costs in response to "seismic shifts" in the financial markets, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a memo to employees.

[...] Uber is the latest company to commit to a hiring slowdown as the labor market tightens and tech stocks in particular have plunged sharply from their heights at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, also said it would slow down the pace of hiring for mid-level positions.

Uber will now focus on achieving profitability on a free cash flow basis rather than adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, Khosrowshahi said, noting that is what the company's investors now expect.

Uber has long been criticized based on the way it calculates its adjusted profits. The company's definition of EBITDA includes an unusually large list of exclusions and is widely seen as an inaccurate measure of the company's overall profitability. The company's stock price is down more than 40 percent year-to-date.

Uber to 'Treat Hiring as a Privilege' as a Way to Cut Costs:

In an email to staff, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi outlined some new and not-so-new cost saving measures.

[...] The rideshare giant is the latest in a string of other tech companies announcing hiring slow downs or cuts. At the end of April, investing app, Robinhood, laid off 9% of its staff. Then, Netflix laid off multiple recently hired writers for blog endeavor Tudum following a dismal quarterly earnings report. And, last week, Meta announced a hiring freeze for the rest of the year.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snotnose on Wednesday May 11, @01:13PM (6 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday May 11, @01:13PM (#1244029)

    So Dara and the other Cxx'ers are taking pay cuts? No?

    Then it's business as usual, laying of the people who actually doing the work and not lowering the workload for those who are left.

    --
    I think I'm half Spider man and half Batman. Because I have no powers and no money.
    • (Score: 4, Touché) by Opportunist on Wednesday May 11, @01:23PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Wednesday May 11, @01:23PM (#1244034)

      Like in the old joke, "the consultant discovered that the problem with their coxed eigth was that there's eight cox and a rower. The recommendation is to inspire the rower to row harder, and if need be, fire the slacker".

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday May 11, @04:01PM (3 children)

      There used to be a website, fuckedcompany.com, IIRC, where people would anonymously post tales of the goings on in barely-anonymised companies that they felt was indicative of going down the pan. Many of these goings on were extremely common, you could definitely see a pattern. One of those common goings on might be worded as getting "hardcore about costs". Of course no board-level cuts, apart from those who managed to get golden parachutes, of course, /quelle suprise/.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @06:33PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @06:33PM (#1244132)

        Yes, it was fuckedcompany. We need something like that site again,

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @07:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @07:42PM (#1244151)

          Does Glass Door serve that purpose?

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Snotnose on Wednesday May 11, @08:44PM

        by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday May 11, @08:44PM (#1244161)

        I really miss fuckedcompany because I worked for 2 of the companies that got a lot of views. Got blamed for Stellcom,but that wasn't me.

        --
        I think I'm half Spider man and half Batman. Because I have no powers and no money.
    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday May 12, @09:06PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday May 12, @09:06PM (#1244583) Homepage Journal

      Companies are shooting themselves in the feet right and left; their greed is killing their profits. Example: McDonald's this week. I had run out of eggs, so got a biscuit and gravy there. They were so understaffed more than half the cars in line left. Apparently they don't understand supply and demand; there's a shortage of workers and they're not paying enough to replace the workers who left for less greedy and selfish employers. They cost themselves a lot more than offering a buck an hour more.

      Before one of you Trumpian goofs scream "inflation", salaries are the least of a business' overhead unless you're a tiny outfit. Business pays far more than you do per unit for utilities, for example.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @02:10PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @02:10PM (#1244044)

    not sure why a service like "uber" needs so many "inbetween" people not doing what the company is supposed to be doing?
    i mean people w/ private transport and people w/ stuff that needs transporting download app, register with ...uhm... err... uber-AI computer and we're off to the races.
    sure, sure, maybe the super computer needs a hand or two to inspect and install stuff it ordered for itself ... but delamain just needed one pair of meat hands to fix itself and that thing could drive cars too (not just match).

    • (Score: 2) by https on Wednesday May 11, @07:38PM

      by https (5248) on Wednesday May 11, @07:38PM (#1244149) Journal

      Municipalities that regulate taxis don't just bribe themselves, you know.

      --
      Offended and laughing about it.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Freeman on Wednesday May 11, @02:49PM (14 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Wednesday May 11, @02:49PM (#1244058) Journal

    Guess I would have heard something, if they'd finally bit the dust. As things stand, it sounds like they're still bleeding money, thus the "cost saving measures".

    --
    Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday May 11, @02:59PM (7 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday May 11, @02:59PM (#1244062) Journal

      That's what I was wondering... Have they actually made any money yet or are they trying to now pivot their position into a profitable one?

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by janrinok on Wednesday May 11, @03:26PM (4 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 11, @03:26PM (#1244070) Journal

        In its first-quarter earnings last week, Uber reported a $5.9 billion loss, which it said was largely due to equity investments in other mobility companies, like Grab, Aurora, and Didi. The company says it expects to post “meaningful positive cash flows” for the full-year 2022, which would be a first.

        You only have to read the linked stories.

        --
        We are always looking for new staff in different areas - please volunteer if you have some spare time and wish to help
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FatPhil on Wednesday May 11, @03:54PM (2 children)

          Worded *so* convincingly, the shareholders dumped: https://www.tradingview.com/chart/?symbol=NYSE%3AUBER . IPO at 45, peak at 66, now at 22. Dead man walking...

          You also have to be careful about exactly which number they're saying is positive: "cash flows" isn't precise enough. Almost all of the numbers that business people like to bounce around in order to pretend they're making a profit are used to hide the fact that they actually aren't. There's a reason the bottom line is called the bottom line. All those fluffy EBITDA-alike "positive earnings" don't mean shit when it comes to the bottom line. They're there to deceive.
          --
          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @04:03PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @04:03PM (#1244081)

            Uber is actually particularly bad with this. they tend to quote "Adjusted EBIDA" where adjusted means "excluding all the expenses and including unrealized gains we should not be including"

            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @04:50PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @04:50PM (#1244093)

              Sounds like all those tax cuts that will "pay for themselves."

        • (Score: 5, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday May 11, @05:53PM

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday May 11, @05:53PM (#1244120) Journal

          You only have to read the linked stories.

          That would require a great deal more interest in Uber than I can currently scrounge up!

          Thanks for doin' it for me.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @04:01PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @04:01PM (#1244079)

        Here is some great reading on that subject https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/category/uber [nakedcapitalism.com]

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Opportunist on Wednesday May 11, @07:28PM

        by Opportunist (5545) on Wednesday May 11, @07:28PM (#1244146)

        Sure, why do you think the CEO is still...

        Oh, you mean the company, not the moochers on top? No, of course not.

    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Wednesday May 11, @03:01PM (4 children)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Wednesday May 11, @03:01PM (#1244063) Journal

      "But what if we keep growing forever and never concern ourselves with making real profit"
      --Hundreds of tech startup founders who were treated like a business genius just like... 2 years ago.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday May 11, @03:43PM (3 children)

        Yup, and it's not just tech startups. A field I'm intimately familiar with is craft breweries, and they are just as bad.

        Everyone and their goat wanted to start a microbrewery 5-10 years ago (exact timescale depends on the country, obvs.), and the market started to get flooded. About half simply can't find a large enough slice of the market, and fold. The other half, starting with big loans usually, have the sales to show that there's some potential for profit eventually, if only they could carve out a bigger slice of the market. Alas, they don't have the capacity to satisfy a greater want, so need to expand. Some hit the crowdfunding route here, but all have to take on bigger bank loans, as crowdfunding only takes you so far - a thousand idiots with a hundred dollars each barely buys you anything, professional brewkits are expensive. Now they have the problem of more expenditure (increased staff, as well as interest payments), and that winning line of actually making a profit zooms back out of sight again. The Darwinian cycle turns again, and for the survivors it's generally lather, rinse, repeat. Some are lucky, and they could stop the loop and just start taking profit next year, but those are the ones running at capacity constantly, money rolling in, and - yup - the greatest incentive to *not* stop the loop.

        Maybe 5% finally escape the loop intact. I'm not 100% sure, as in the 4 countries I'm most familiar with, I don't think I know even one who's attained that elevated state presently, despite knowing dozens running round ever growing hamster wheels. (And dozens that have gone bust. There is another way out - sell up, of course, but that makes the issua a bit of a Ship of Theseus.)

        Perhaps it's because of the easy access to capital that this kind of risky behaviour is embarked upon in a wide range of sectors, but you generally can't artificially raise the barrier to entry without also harming the ability for the ecosystem to flourish. Perhaps put more onus on the banks to vet business plans more fastidiously, and not treat a "plan" as a trustworthy prediction - "our research shows there's a market" is worth shit 99% of the time, you're simply rewording "trust us".

        And in case you're interested, yeah, the brewpub's doing great, thanks for asking; exporting to dozens of countries now - just need to extend the facility and get some bigger tanks to keep up with demand...
        --
        I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @04:57PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @04:57PM (#1244099)

          I don't know if you remember, but craft brewing went through this phase in the 90s. Following on the successes of Sam Adams in particular, and the renewed interest in home brewing, everybody and their brother (especially if their brother was an MBA) opened a brewpub. And since a lot of them had MBAs behind them, they were content in putting out a mediocre product and they were a means to an ends, a gimmick for a restaurant, and a lot of them disappeared by the early 2000s. Does this mean I should stash away my independent contractor rider business plan and wait to pull it out in about 15 or 20 years when these current ideas become new again? :)

          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday May 11, @08:53PM

            I wasn't there to experience the US explosion, but of course I'm familiar with its after-effects - it really influenced many of the countries here in Europe. We're basically repeating your script. I should clarify my comments a little perhaps, I wasn't thinking of the "very few -> many" explosion, but the "many -> too fucking many" explosion. The ones in that earlier wave had an easier route to profit, all they had to do was take a tiny slice away from the macros. Many have become very significant even at the national level (BBC as you mention, Sierra Nevada, Bells, Stone, Brooklyn, ...). A fair few were very appealing to the macros for a buy-up too, because they were already profit-making entities (Goose Island to the biggest of the big, AB InBev; Ballast Point - was on the verge of an IPO when Constellation Brands claimed it all for themselves for a sweet billion dollars; Lagunitas to god-knows whom, I'm not a bloody encyclopaedia; ...).
            --
            I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday May 11, @09:38PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday May 11, @09:38PM (#1244174) Journal

            Either that or move to Colorado. The damn things are like vermin around here!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @08:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, @08:22PM (#1244158)

      i wonder if they still have their rock walls and beer taps going?

      Gotta love the statement: we're going to start only hiring people we need

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