SUPER-APP player Grab will be laying off about 360 employees - representing just under 5 per cent of its workforce - due to financial pressures arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, chief executive officer (CEO) Anthony Tan said in a note to employees on Tuesday morning.
“We tried everything possible to avoid this but had to accept that the difficult cuts we are making today are required, because millions depend on us for a living in this new normal,” Mr Tan said in the note.
“Since February, we have seen the stark impact of Covid-19 on businesses globally, ours included. At the same time, it has become clear that the pandemic will likely result in a prolonged recession and we have to prepare for what may be a long recovery period,” he explained.
Besides the layoffs, Grab will also be “sunsetting some non-core projects, consolidating functions for greater efficiency, and right-sizing teams to better match our changing business needs”, according to the note.
Meanwhile, the company is doubling down on its delivery verticals, and has redeployed employees to meet increased demand for delivery. The CEO said the company was able to “save many jobs” through this redeployment.
“I assure you that this will be the last organisation-wide layoff this year and I am confident as we execute against our refreshed plans to meet our targets, we will not have to go through this painful exercise again in the foreseeable future,” Mr Tan said in his note.
Grab’s retrenchment exercise comes amid other cost-cutting measures, such as its decision to limit commission rebates for drivers to the top 18,000 performers, while scrapping previous incentive schemes.