Uber staff on paid leave following acquisition, Grab says it will try to rehire them

A notice announcing the closure of UberHUB in Paya Lebar on March 26, 2018.
A notice announcing the closure of UberHUB in Paya Lebar on March 26, 2018.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Ride-hailing firm Grab will try to offer positions to all Uber staff in the region, a spokesman for the Singapore-based firm said.

This comes after Grab announced on Monday that it had acquired its American rival's operations in South-east Asia for an undisclosed amount, following several months of speculation.

As part of the deal, Uber will take a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab, while Uber's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab's board.

Videos circulating on social media on Monday (March 26) showed staff in Uber's Mapletree Anson office vacating the premise.

Uber staff The Straits Times spoke to said that at 10am, hundreds of them were told to pack up their belongings and leave the premises by 12.30pm.

"We were just told to leave and wait for updates," said one staff member, who did not wish to be identified.

He added that they were told they were "free to look for other jobs".


In a statement to the media, Grab said Uber employees were being placed on paid leave.

"We understand it's been an emotional and trying day for Uber's employees in Southeast Asia. On the part of Grab, we are committed to try and find everyone a home at Grab," she said.

She added that the firm will be talking to more than 500 Uber employees here to see "how they would fit into Grab."

In a video statement posted on social network LinkedIn, Grab's regional head of people operations, Chin Yin, said Grab's co-founders will hold a townhall meeting for all Uber employees in the region on Tuesday.