Back in 2018 when Uber merged with its rival Grab, Singaporeans thought that its chapter in Singapore has closed for good.
Truth is, they never really left Singapore — at least in terms of running a headquarters.
In fact, it unveiled its new Asia Pacific Regional Hub at Frasers Tower in the heart of Tanjong Pagar to local media (us, included) in April last year.
Uber clarified then that “Singapore is a non-operational market” for them, and that the hub manages operations in nine regional countries, including Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and Australia.
Fast forward to today (May 19), Uber announced that it will be moving out of its APAC headquarters in Singapore within the next 12 months as its business has been badly impacted by the Covid-19 virus outbreak.
The hub, which is home to 165 Singapore staff, will shift to another place in the region. Uber did not further elaborate on this.
Beyond this upcoming closure however, Uber will also be laying off about 3,000 more people globally and halt some of its investments that are unrelated to its core businesses of ride-hailing and delivery.
This is its second cut this month. On May 6, Uber had axed about 3,700 full-time employees from customer support and recruiting teams.
The first round of layoff had incurred the firm about US$20 million in costs related to severance and other termination benefits.
Coupled with the latest round of layoffs, global headcount will be slashed by about a quarter.
“Given the dramatic impact of the pandemic, and the unpredictable nature of any eventual recovery, we are concentrating our efforts on our core mobility and delivery platforms and resizing our company to match the realities of our business,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber.
“As I said to our teams today, we are making these hard choices now so that we can move forward and begin to build again with confidence.”
Featured Image Credit: Uber