Lyft lays off 17% of workforce, furloughs hundreds more

Key Points
  • Lyft is laying off 982 employees and furloughing an additional 288 people. 
  • The layoffs account for 17% of the company's workforce.
  • Lyft also has implemented reductions in base salary for exempt employees for a 12-week period.
Lyft cutting 982 employees, 17% of workforce

Lyft is laying off 982 employees and furloughing 288 others in an effort to reduce operating expenses and adjust cash flows due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company announced Wednesday in a regulatory filing

Lyft stock was up nearly 4% Wednesday afternoon, amid a broader market rally.

The layoffs account for 17% of the workforce, Lyft said. Lyft also has implemented reductions in base salary for employees exempt from the layoffs and furloughs for a 12-week period. The salary cuts, which begin in May, will consist of a 30% reduction for executive leadership, 20% for vice presidents and 10% for all other exempt employees, Lyft said.

"It is now clear that the Covid-19 crisis is going to have broad-reaching implications for the economy, which impacts our business. We have therefore made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our team," Lyft CEO Logan Green said in a statement Wednesday. "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."

Lyft said it expects to incur $28 million to $36 million in restructuring and related charges from the layoffs, primarily related to employee severance and benefits. The company said the charges will mostly impact its second quarter. Lyft's board members will also forgo 30% of their cash compensation for the second quarter of 2020. 

Lyft's filing comes just a day after The Information reported that Lyft's rival Uber is discussing laying off 20% of its staff. Uber declined to comment, but did say in a regulatory filing Tuesday that its long-time CTO resigned from the company. Rideshare companies have seen a drop in demand as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps Americans largely at home.

--CNBC's Deirdre Bosa contributed to this report. 

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