Lyft on Thursday said it will lay off 13% of its staff, or nearly 700 employees, as it rethinks staffing amid rising inflation and fears of a looming recession.
In a memo to staffers on Thursday, a copy of which was shared with CNN Business, Lyft (LYFT) co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer said the layoffs will impact every part of the company, and pointed to broader macroeconomic challenges that led to the cuts.
“We know today will be hard,” the founders wrote in the memo. “We’re facing a probable recession sometime in the next year and rideshare insurance costs are going up.”
“We worked hard to bring down costs this summer: we slowed, then froze hiring; cut spending; and paused less-critical initiatives,” the memo said. “Still, Lyft has to become leaner, which requires us to part with incredible team members.”
For much of the pandemic, the tech industry only seemed to grow bigger as consumers shifted more of their lives online. But a number of tech companies reported slowing growth in the September quarter, as customers and advertisers rethink spending. Many in the tech sector are now rethinking their investments and staffing needs.
Amazon on Thursday said it planned to implement a pause on corporate hiring for months, citing the economic climate. Also on Thursday, Stripe, a payment processing company and one of the world’s most valuable startups, announced it is laying off 14% of staffers.
“We were much too optimistic about the internet economy’s near-term growth in 2022 and 2023 and underestimated both the likelihood and impact of a broader slowdown,” Stripe CEO Patrick Collison wrote in a note to employees.
Lyft’s move, however, comes as its chief rival, Uber, bucked the trend by reporting strong revenue growth, fueled by demand for rides and meal deliveries. Lyft is set to report earnings results on Monday.
“We are not immune to the realities of inflation and a slowing economy,” Lyft’s founders wrote in the memo to staffers.
In a company filing on Thursday, Lyft confirmed the plans involving the “termination of approximately 683 employees” and said it will incur approximately $27 million to $32 million of “restructuring and related charges” due to severance and benefits costs.
Shares for Lyft are down nearly 70% so far this year.