The layoffs come as Uber merges its Eats platform with Postmates. While there is still a separate Postmates app, it will increasingly run on Uber Eats technology. You just don’t have to have so many team members to support Postmates, as miserable as the human toll is.
There is also the simple question of survival in today’s climate. Uber was already cutting costs before the pandemic, and the virus has only exacerbated the situation as demand for ridesharing plummeted. The company recently sold its autonomous car and flying taxi divisions with the aim of reducing unnecessary expenses. Add a consolidation between rivals, like Acquisition of Grubhub by Just Eat, and Uber faces particularly strong pressure to cut spending where possible.