Deliveroo lays off almost one in ten staff as tech job cuts continue

A Deliveroo delivery rider pushes a bicycle in London, Britain - TOBY MELVILLE / REUTERS
A Deliveroo delivery rider pushes a bicycle in London, Britain - TOBY MELVILLE / REUTERS

Deliveroo is cutting 350 jobs as the food delivery app reels from a tech downturn and a drop in people ordering takeaways.

Will Shu, the company’s chief executive, announced the news to staff on Thursday, pointing to the cost of living crisis and saying he took responsibility for over-hiring in the past.

The cuts amount to around 9pc of its workforce. It said it hoped around 50 people would be redeployed to new roles at the company.

The cuts, which come two years after a disastrous £8bn London listing, are the latest in a string of job losses at tech companies, which have been blamed on over-optimistic hiring during the pandemic tech boom.

Deliveroo said last month that takeaway order numbers had fallen by 2pc from a year earlier, although the value of orders had increased. The company has left Australia and the Netherlands in recent months amid tough economic conditions.

Shares have fallen by almost 80pc since the company floated in March 2021, which was one of the biggest London listings in years. Growth has since slowed and the company has been put under pressure to make profits.

In an email to staff, Mr Shu said: “In recent years we grew our headcount very quickly. This was a response to unprecedented growth rates supported by Covid-related tailwinds. By contrast, we now face serious and unforeseen economic headwinds.

“We have also recently exited markets, meaning we do not require the same size workforce to support our operations. Quite bluntly, our fixed cost base is too big for our business.

“This is my responsibility. I should have had a more balanced approach to headcount growth, but I thought stronger top-line growth would continue for longer than it has. I did not anticipate so many macro headwinds arriving all at once. This is on me, and I will not be making the same mistakes going forward.”