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Uber reportedly lays off 400 people to 'get its edge back'

Just two months after going public, the ride-hailing giant has lost three board members, two top execs and is reportedly laying off one third of its marketing department.

Uber has reportedly made layoffs across its marketing division.
Angela Lang/CNET

Uber is reportedly laying off 400 employees from its marketing team in an attempt to cut costs, according to The New York Times. The news comes during a shaky period for Uber as it attempts to gain footing as a public company. 

"Many of our teams are too big, which creates overlapping work, makes for unclear decision owners, and can lead to mediocre results," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in an email to staff, according to the Times. "As a company, we can do more to keep the bar high, and expect more of ourselves and each other. So, put simply, we need to get our edge back."

Uber didn't respond to a request for comment.

The layoffs were reportedly announced internally on Monday and will take place in several of Uber's offices around the world, according to the Times. The 400 employees represent about one-third of the company's marketing department, which is in charge of ride promotions, ads and social media. In all, Uber has roughly 25,000 employees, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Uber has experienced a rocky start to being a publicly traded company. When it issued its initial public offering in May, its stock fell by nearly 8%. Since then its shares have hovered around its $45 IPO price. The company has also seen three board members step down, along with its chief operating officer and chief marketing officer.

Uber has said being a profitable company won't be easy. "We expect our operating expenses to increase significantly in the foreseeable future, and we may not achieve profitability," the company said in a regulatory filing in April.

Uber's rival Lyft, which also went public this year, is in a similar boat. It too has experienced a rough start on Wall Street, along with two sets of stockholder lawsuits saying the company misrepresented the strength of its business before its IPO. On Monday, it was reported that Lyft's COO is also stepping down.

Originally published July 29, 1:37 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:35 p.m.: Adds additional information throughout.