Uber employees fear layoffs as the company plans to shut down its 500-employee car leasing unit

Uber employees are nervous about an expected round of layoffs, according to a source familiar with the company.

This after news broke that the company is considering shuttering its US car leasing business.

The two-year old leasing program, founded under then CEO Travis Kalanick, is losing far more money than planned, reports the Wall Street Journal’s Greg Bensinger.

Uber currently has about 40,000 vehicles in the program, which it leases to drivers. The company had expected to lose about $US500 per car but is losing about $US9,000 per car, sources told Bensinger.

The problem? Being in the car leasing business was harder than Uber imagined. All told, about 500 people work for the unit. Uber is apparently looking for a buyer for the unit, or even a partner for it, but short of that, the company will be make big changes, Quart’s Alison Griswold reports. Some employees will find new roles within the company but layoffs are not out of the question, the source told Griswold.

Kalanick was forced to step down as Uber CEO in June in the wake of a long series of scandals at the company. Uber is currently being led by a committee of 14 executives. Uber lost $US2.8 billion in 2016 and this team is said to be trying to stem those losses.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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