Ride-hailing firm Uber is reportedly laying off 20 per cent of its workforce - more than 5,400 of 27,000 employees – as rides come to an indefinite halt in most countries owing to lockdowns and social distancing in place, The Information reported.
Layoffs of that magnitude "could be announced in stages in the coming weeks" at Uber, said the report, as long-serving Uber's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Thuan Pham quit the company.
Members of Uber's engineering team will perform Pham's duties until the company finds a permanent CTO, a company spokesperson was quoted as saying.
The spokesperson told Fortune: "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", avoiding a direct take on the layoff report.
"Pham has notified managers who report to him of his plan to leave, which comes as the 3,800-person Uber engineering group could be slashed by nearly 800 people in the coming weeks under the proposed job cuts", said the report in The Information on Tuesday.
Going through a turbulent time even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, Uber cut more than 1,100 jobs last year.
Earlier this month, the company withdrew its financial forecast for 2020 and said it would write down about $2 billion in investments hit by COVID-19.
Uber is set to report earnings for its first quarter of 2020 on May 7.
In a statement regarding Pham leaving the company, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said: "As the leader of our engineering organization for the last seven years, Pham has made important contributions that have helped make Uber into the global technology platform it is today".
Shares of Uber were flat in extended Tuesday trading after the stock closed at $30.12.