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– With inputs from Aditi Sharma Kalra
On 25 March, Uber announced the takeover of its Southeast Asia business by Grab. In emails sent to staff, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, wrote: “These are never easy decisions and I know this will mean a big change for you and your families, but I believe that combining forces with Grab is the right thing to do for Uber for the long term.”
Following the announcement, Uber employees reportedly told local media claiming that they were told to pack up within two hours and leave the company’s office – claims which have since been refuted by an Uber spokesperson who has clarified to Human Resources, that the employees have been placed on paid leave during this period of transition.
Soon after the speculations broke out, Grab’s head of people, Chin Yin Ong, posted a video on LinkedIn in which she assured Uber employees that Grab will be reaching out to them, as well as inviting affected employees to a joint town hall which will be hosted later today (27 March at 4.30pm).
Human Resources has also reached out to both Uber and Grab for their respective statements on the matter.
Responding to queries, an Uber spokesperson said: “Employees across all Southeast Asian locations were given the full day to process the news, attend detailed information sessions with HR and representatives of their global teams, in addition to being provided with onsite counselling.”
At the same time, a Grab spokesperson told Human Resources: “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. We will be having conversations with all 500+ employees on how they would fit into Grab. In the meantime, all Uber employees are on paid leave.
“We have faith that many of Uber’s employees are as committed to improving the lives of people in Southeast Asia as we are. We look forward to welcoming them to the Grab family.”