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Lyft is laying off nearly 1,000 employees — 17% of its workforce — as the coronavirus sends the ride-hailing industry into a nosedive (LYFT)

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  • Lyft said on Wednesday that it would cut nearly 1,000 jobs and had furloughed 288 workers.
  • Both Lyft and its larger competitor Uber have seen ride-hailing volumes plummet during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Shares of Lyft were up more than 5% on Wednesday, outpacing broader market gains.
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Lyft said in a filing with US regulators on Wednesday that it planned to lay off "approximately 982 employees," or 17% of its workforce, and had furloughed 288 others as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the ride-hailing industry.
Collectively, the job cuts and furloughs represent more than 20% of Lyft's latest reported headcount of 5,683 employees at the end of 2019. The company said the layoffs would cost $28 million to $36 million in severance payments and other expenses.
Lyft also said its executive leadership would take a 30% pay cut, with vice presidents seeing a 20% reduction and "all other exempt employees" taking a 10% cut. Members of Lyft's board of directors "have voluntarily agreed to forego 30% of their cash compensation for the second quarter of 2020," Lyft said.
In a statement, Lyft CEO Logan Green said it was a "difficult decision" to cut jobs.
"It is now clear that the COVID-19 crisis is going to have broad-reaching implications for the economy, which impacts our business," he said. "We have therefore made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our team. Our guiding principle for decision-making right now is to ensure we emerge from the crisis in the strongest possible position to achieve the company's mission."
Shares of Lyft were up more than 5% on Wednesday, outpacing broader market gains.
A New York Times reporter said that word of the layoffs circulated earlier this week thanks to a slip-up by an employment lawyer.
The coronavirus pandemic has had an outsize effect on Lyft — and, to some extent, its larger competitor Uber — as stay-at-home orders around the world drastically reduce demand for on-demand car rides. By some measures, ride-hailing volumes have decreased by more than 90% in hard-hit areas.
Lyft, which doesn't have a food-delivery arm the size of Uber's, announced earlier in April that it had launched a pilot delivery initiative to move essential goods like groceries and medicine. It's not clear what effect that's had so far on mitigating revenue loss from the pandemic.
Uber is also mulling staffing cuts of even greater magnitude, the technology news site The Information reported on Tuesday. The company did not confirm the report, but a representative told Business Insider that it was "looking at every possible scenario to ensure we get to the other side of this crisis in a stronger position than ever."
Lyft is set to report its first-quarter financial performance on May 6, with investors eagerly awaiting an update on how the company is weathering the crisis.
"This update will include detailed actions the company is taking to strengthen its financial position, improve its cost structure, and support drivers and riders on the Lyft platform," Lyft said in announcing the earnings call. "In light of the evolving and unpredictable effects of COVID-19, Lyft is currently not in a position to forecast the expected impact of COVID-19 on its financial and operating results for the remainder of 2020."
Do you work for Lyft? Affected by the layoffs? We want to hear from you. Get in touch with this reporter at grapier@businessinsider.com or via the secure contact methods available here.
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* This article was originally published here Press Release Distribution

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