Grab cuts workforce by 360 and sunsets several non-core products

Grab will be cutting its workforce by about 360, representing 5% of its employees. The company declined to comment if the marketing team is impacted and the markets hardest hit, when asked by Marketing.

Moving forward, the company will also be sunsetting some non-core projects, consolidating functions for greater efficiency, and right-sizing teams to better match changing business needs given the external environment. However, it is doubling-down on delivery verticals and has redeployed its staff to meet the increased customer demand for deliveries. Grab declined to comment on which projects it will be sunsetting.

In a blog post, founder Anthony Tan said the company “tried everything possible to avoid this” but had to accept that the “difficult cuts” are required. He added that since February, the company has seen the stark impact of COVID-19 on businesses globally. At the same time, it has become clear that the pandemic will likely result in a prolonged recession and as such the firm will need to prepare for what may be a long recovery period.

Tan added that this will be the “last organisation-wide layoff” this year and the company plans to execute against refreshed plans to meet targets.

“Over the past few months, we reviewed all costs, cut back on discretionary spending, and implemented pay cuts for senior management. In spite of all this, we recognise that we still have to become leaner as an organisation in order to tackle the challenges of the post-pandemic economy,” he added.

Moving forward the company aims to focus on adapting services such as ride-hailing, deliveries, payments and financial services. At the same time, it aims to expand support for small businesses by enriching its merchant service offerings.

For those impacted the company is also providing financial, professional, medical and emotional support that includes:

-Severance payment of half a month for every 6 months of completed service, or based on local statutory guidelines, whichever is higher. 

-Enhanced separation payment equivalent to about 1.5 months of salary on top of the severance pay as additional assistance during this COVID-19 crisis and bonus for work done in 2020.

-Waiver of annual cliffs for equity vesting, so that more Grabbers can leave as shareholders. This means that your outstanding unvested equity will vest monthly until your last date of employment.

-Medical insurance coverage until the end of this year through existing medical insurance, or a stipend equivalent, so you can have peace of mind through these uncertain times.

-Maternity and paternity leave encashment for female Grabbers who are expecting and male Grabbers whose wife is expecting, as of the last date of employment.

-Encashment of unused accrued annual leave and unused GrabFlex credits under your Flexible Spending Account.

-Career transition and development support in the form of outplacement support from our Talent Acquisition team and the creation of a Talent Directory that allows recruiters and companies to reach out to impacted Grabbers for opportunities. We will also provide impacted Grabbers access to sessions with a life coach and half a year’s worth of online career development tools, so they can continue to grow in their personal and professional lives. 

-Emotional support via the Grabber Assistance Program which you will continue to be able to access for 3 months after your last date of employment.

"Finally, you can opt to keep your laptops to help you in your search of your next adventure. In our eight years, we have faced numerous challenges, and we have always been able to survive – and thrive – because our commitment to our customers in Southeast Asia is unwavering. We are deeply rooted here and we continue to stay true to our mission of driving Southeast Asia forward,” he said.

“This is a difficult time for all Grabbers, and I know that this is a lot to take in.[…] To the Grabbers who will be leaving us, each of you has made a lasting imprint on our region through your sacrifice, grit and determination. I am deeply grateful for your efforts and we are where we are today because of you. Thank you for sharing your talent and passion with us. Thank you for enriching the lives of Grabbers, our customers, and partners through your contributions. You will always be part of the Grab family,” Tan added.