Lyft plans to cut 17% of staff, furlough hundreds more due to pandemic

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 11: The Lyft logo is displayed on a car on March 11, 2019 in San Francisco, California. On-demand transportation company Lyft has filed paperwork for its initial public offering that is expected to value the company at up to $25 billion. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Lyft plans to cut nearly 1,000 staffers and furlough hundreds more as it grapples with the impact of the ongoing pandemic on people using its ride-hailing services.

The company, which went public about a year ago, said in a filing Wednesday that it plans to cut 17% of its workforce, or 982 employees. It has also furloughed about 288 employees on top of that.

In the filing, Lyft cited the downsizing as a means of curbing operating expenses and adjusting its cash flow “in light of the ongoing economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the company’s business.”

Additionally, Lyft is implementing salary reductions for many employees, including a 30% cut for executive leadership and 20% for vice presidents.

The news comes one day after tech news site The Information reported that rival Uber is weighing significant staff cuts as well. In a statement to CNN Business about the reported layoff discussions, an Uber spokesperson said: “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.”

Both companies have a history of steep losses and went through layoffs prior to the pandemic.

Lyft has been attempting to shift toward delivery, an area it had not previously embraced — unlike Uber, which has its Eats food delivery service. Weeks ago, recognizing the decline in ride activity spurred by the public health crisis, Lyft advised drivers to consider pursuing driving work with Amazon.

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