Lyft’s new CEO begins layoffs, reportedly cutting 1,200 jobs

  • Lyft confirmed it would “significantly reduce” its workforce starting next week, according to an email from CEO David Risher.
  • The resignations come a week into Risher’s tenure and were referred to in a previous town hall meeting.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that the layoffs would affect at least 1,200 employees, about 30% of the company’s 4,000 employees.

A traveler arriving at Los Angeles International Airport looks for ground transportation during a statewide day of action to demand that companies Uber and Lyft follow California law and give drivers “basic labor rights” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 20, 2020.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Ride-share app Lyft will lay off a significant number of employees one week into new CEO David Risher’s tenure, the company announced Friday.

A Lyft spokesperson declined to comment on the specific number of cuts, but the Wall Street Journal reported that the company would lay off at least 1,200 workers, or about 30% of its 4,000 employees.

“I am confirming that we will be significantly reducing the size of the team as part of a restructuring to focus on better meeting the needs of riders and drivers,” Risher told Lyft employees in an email published on Lyft’s blog. Risher’s appointment was announced in March and took effect on April 17.

Lyft stock was unchanged on the news. The company previously laid off employees in November, cutting 700 jobs, or about 13% of its workforce.

“We need to be a faster, flatter company where everyone is closer to our riders and drivers so we can deliver on that purpose,” Risher wrote Friday.

Risher, a former Amazon executive, told employees at a town hall a few weeks ago that layoffs were imminent.

Lyft has struggled since its 2019 IPO, as primary competitor Uber has been ahead in terms of market share and market capitalization. Lyft debuted at $72 and is now trading below $10.

“David has made it clear to the company that his focus is on creating a great and affordable experience for riders and improving driver earnings,” a Lyft spokesperson told CNBC. “This is a difficult decision and one we do not take lightly.”

Technical layoffs began in earnest late in 2022, and have continued into the new year. Earlier this week, Meta carried out a previously announced round of cuts. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and many other tech companies have collectively laid off more than 172,000 employees by 2023, according to layoff tracker

Lyft said the restructuring would not affect previously issued guidance. The company is set to report earnings for the first quarter of 2023 on May 4.

SEE: Lyft corporate shake-up

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