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Uber's Silicon Valley Employees May Be Looking to Jump Ship (fortune.com) 92

Some San Francisco-based recruiters and executives at Uber's rival companies told the Financial Times in a Monday article that the number of Uber employees looking to leave the ride-sharing company has spiked. From a report: "One of the main reasons is lack of faith in senior leadership," one unnamed recruiter that previously worked with Uber told the FT. The news comes as the company weathers waves of criticism regarding its leadership, political stance, and internal culture. An Uber spokesperson told the FT that its current level of departures has been normal.
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Uber's Silicon Valley Employees May Be Looking to Jump Ship

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  • Jump ship? (Score:5, Funny)

    by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @12:46PM (#53985657)

    Wait, Uber has boats now?

  • My nose smells BS (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    You don't leave a 6 figure job because of "lack of confidence in management." You just don't. You milk that puppy until it's dry. Plus, at the end of the day Uber is already profitable in the US. They are bleeding money competing for market share in Europe and China. The whole "profitable in the US" thing escapes the headlines but the are making bank here and they will outside the US too once the market share fight is over.

    • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @12:55PM (#53985725)

      I thought every job in the silicon valley was a six figure job...

      • Uber is in San Francisco, not in the Valley.

        • Uber is in San Francisco, not in the Valley.

          For most of us outside of the region, the terms are use interchangeably, regardless of geographical correctness. It's just a good moniker to describe the entire job market in the region.

          • I understand the misuse but the places are culturally distinct. Even the few VCs with presence in both hire different kinds of people for their offices.

            I remember talking with a taxi driver in Berlin who felt he knew the USA very well -- because he'd been to Miami six times. It's a cognitive bias I'm sure I suffer from too, but it doesn't mean it isn't worth correcting.

        • by epine ( 68316 )

          Uber is in San Francisco, not in the Valley.

          There's a word for this. It's called "conurbation". Practice saying this out loud three times every morning in front of the bathroom mirror and I promise you that this small ritual will cure your pedanticism in record time.

    • by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @12:56PM (#53985739) Journal

      You do if you can get another comparable job elsewhere that doesn't have the drama currently swirling around Uber.

      Regardless of whether it's deserved or not, the media is currently dogpiling Uber. If you're super-committed to the organization and business model, sure, stick around. But if you're just after a paycheck, might as well try to find one that doesn't have a huge target from regulators and the media on its back.

      • Re:My nose smells BS (Score:5, Interesting)

        by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @01:39PM (#53986031)

        It all comes down to options vest date. If you options won't vest till after the company is sure to be dead and gone, their is no more bet to be made. Strike price matters too, but if you aren't going to get near to vesting for another 3 years, and you know it's a house of cards run by clowns? (I don't know this, just supposing.)

        Best bet might be to move along in a nice orderly fashion, before Uber becomes a resume stain.

    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      You don't leave a 6 figure job because of "lack of confidence in management." You just don't.

      LOL. Your post makes it sound like a 6 figure software developer job is rare. My 6 figure job certainly wouldn't make me stick around if I lost confidence in management. Perhaps if I had some hyper-inflated $300k+ salary position I would stick around on a sinking ship, but $125k-$150k developer jobs grow on trees for anyone skilled enough to deserve that pay level. (even in the Midwest suburbs, not just SV)

    • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @01:06PM (#53985789)

      You haven't been around much have you?

      Six figures ain't much in the city these days. But senior people _do_ leave because they see trainwrecks coming, sometimes they are right, sometimes they're just butt hurt over something else and being stupid.

      If you're working someplace and all the most senior operations people 'step back to spend more time with family' at the same time. Get ready, cause shit is coming.

      The best time to look for a job is when you have one.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        We are attempting to fix that giant disparity in skills versus salary that you mention using the H1-B program but are being fought at every step. However we are confident the the free market will ultimately fix the imbalance and the payment of executive level salaries for mere coders will become a thing of the past under the new administration.
        • I am probably the most anti-Trump person out there and there is pretty stiff competition. But I have no idea how you could blame the current administration for H1-B related issues. It's one area where the current administration has actually identified a problem and proposed a reasonable solution. H1-Bs go to those willing to pay the highest salaries. I can't believe this hasn't been proposed before.
          • I am probably the most anti-Trump person out there

            Far too coherent, seem somewhat rational. No, you are not.

      • If you're working someplace and all the most senior operations people 'step back to spend more time with family' at the same time. Get ready, cause shit is coming.

        Quoted for eternity.

        The best time to look for a job is when you have one.

        Also, quoted for eternity.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You don't leave a 6 figure job because of "lack of confidence in management." You just don't. You milk that puppy until it's dry.

      If you're good enough to command a 6-figure job, then you're good enough to make it fairly easy to find an alternative employer if you don't like your current one. And anyway, what's being reported here is a desire to move jobs, not actual movement.

      Plus, at the end of the day Uber is already profitable in the US. They are bleeding money competing for market share in Europe and China. The whole "profitable in the US" thing escapes the headlines but the are making bank here and they will outside the US too once the market share fight is over.

      Profitability has nothing to do with it. The "lack of faith in leadership" that is being referred to is not about whether its profitable or not; it's about the repeated and on-going ethics issues that are coming out of the company.

      But since you raised profitabil

    • Plus, at the end of the day Uber is already profitable in the US. They are bleeding money competing for market share in Europe and China. The whole "profitable in the US" thing escapes the headlines but the are making bank here and they will outside the US too once the market share fight is over.

      It escapes the headlines for the same reason the Bowling Green Massacre escapes the headlines; it just isn't true. Uber loses money in every major market they operate in. There are only two possible paths to prof

      • Don't be a fucking idiot: Uber's core business generates shit-tons of profit; they're just choose to invest it aggressively (something they can presumably choose to stop doing at any point).
        • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

          No it doesn't. Uber's business model simply doesn't work. Uber is a company that drives people from A to B for money. There is no fundamental reason why they should be able to do it cheaper than other taxi companies, at least not if they are doing it legally. There's no disruptive technology here, there's just a taxi hailing app.

          • Traditional taxis came up with a legalistic definition of taxi. For hire cars that can be hailed on the street.

            A hailing app (especially one that works better than physically sticking you hand in the air) breaks the old regulatory model. Uber's aren't taxis, because of how taxi is legally defined.

            Which still doesn't make Uber a particularly valuable company. It's still a competitive business and is going to have tight margins by its nature.

    • by tazan ( 652775 )
      It's a lot easy to get a 6 figure job if you already have a 6 figure job. Getting one when you've just been laid off is a lot harder. You have to protect that. My resumes go out the first time I don't get a bonus.
    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      You don't leave a 6 figure job because of "lack of confidence in management." You just don't.

      Well, you're wrong. I have done exactly this.

      I left Toshiba more than 5 years ago. My job wasn't difficult, the pay was good, and my immediate supervisor and coworkers were OK to deal with. However, even back then, it was clear that at higher levels, they were making a lot of bad deals that looked good in the short term, but were not good in the long term. They also were transferring power from proven, profitable departments, to recent acquisitions that were questionably run. The only surprise to

    • You don't leave a 6 figure job because of "lack of confidence in management." You just don't. You milk that puppy until it's dry. Plus, at the end of the day Uber is already profitable in the US. They are bleeding money competing for market share in Europe and China. The whole "profitable in the US" thing escapes the headlines but the are making bank here and they will outside the US too once the market share fight is over.

      Having been on one of these (in dollars atleast) and had the company collapse underneath me. They didn't pay November's salary, and then try getting job mid-way through December when it became clear that there was no continuing. A six-figure salary that is missing 2/12 is no longer that attractive.

    • You don't leave a 6 figure job because of "lack of confidence in management." You just don't.

      Right. You use it to pad your resume and get a better 6 figure job. That other job may be better because it has more pay, works you less hours, a better team you get along with, or better long term prospects in stability or even better management. It all differs from person to person, and it will be easier to find a new job coming from a still functional company that has public reasons known for wanting to leave.

  • There are several thousand engineers in places outside of silly con valley that would love to work for a company like Uber all while not particularly caring about the BS social justice crap.
    • by mlw4428 ( 1029576 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @01:06PM (#53985793)
      Ah yes, because sexism in the workplace is just "BS". This is literally what a lot of former-Uber female engineers tend to comment on happening. If it were one or two, okay sure, but it's the vast majority of them. Here I thought intelligent professions like programming didn't have to care about who you were, looked like, smelled like, or anything else so long as you could write GOOD code. And the expectation of politeness is inherent to any business environment - so you can get over that.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Depends on the company/team. I for one would not care if one of my devs was a literal Silent Hill monster as long as it wrote good code with proper unit tests.

        • Depends on the company/team. I for one would not care if one of my devs was a literal Silent Hill monster as long as it wrote good code with proper unit tests.

          Be careful of IP rights and assignments. The Due Process clause has not been explicitly extended to literal Silent Hill monsters yet and I do not believe there has been litigation in any jurisdiction establishing their right to be treated as persons for purposes of the takings clause or to sign legal documents as they might need to do when applying for a patent or assigning one to your company. That being said, state laws vary considerably and monsters have greater rights in some states than they do in othe

        • I for one would not care if one of my devs was a literal Silent Hill monster as long as it wrote good code with proper unit tests.

          Well, that's an awfully good way to end up with only one dev left. Would you not care if you couldn't keep more than the silent hill monster on your team?

      • This is literally what a lot of former-Uber female engineers tend to comment on happening. If it were one or two, okay sure, but it's the vast majority of them.

        You're all over the place.

        literally
        a lot
        tend to comment
        the vast majority

        Please make up your mind and then tell us exactly what your allegations are and cite your source(s). I see a few genuinely alarming stories about Uber and a lot of rehashed hearsay being pushed to the front page--mostly by msmash.

      • The vast majority experienced sexual harassment? Let me tell you something about the fucked-up mental state of the population: half of 'em - men or women - would love nothing more than to be able to draw that kind of attention.

        No, reality doesn't necessarily subscribe to your delusional narrative.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Works for me! All the brogrammer-shitheads can move to Montana or whatever, non-sociopathic adults can have San Francisco back, and I only have to ignore head hunters from one company.

    • by chaboud ( 231590 )

      There may be several thousand scattered around, but the concentration of competence is high in the Bay Area. It's why companies continue to sprout up in Silicon Valley, hire the best, do well, make a fortune, etc.

      There's value to setting up shop in other places, but they're still likely to be areas of concentration of skills. There are smart people doing great work in Seattle, Boston, Las Vegas, Raleigh, Fairfax, etc. But you're going to have to work a little harder to grow a little slower. It's even ha

  • drivers better get out be for they go down and they end losing all they own when the uber insurance becomes useless

  • An Uber spokesperson told the FT that its current level of departures has been normal.

    Sure, the levels are normal now, but that is not what the article, and recruiters, are saying. From the article:

    the number of Uber employees looking to leave the ride-sharing company has spiked.

    That means in the future departures should spike accordingly. Just because the Uber Cab Company doesn't see an issue now only means they aren't looking.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @01:50PM (#53986133)

    This will be my second dotcom bubble, and just like the first I'm working in a non-startup company watching on the sidelines. One thing I noticed about last bubble is that towards the end, people were hopping jobs every 3 to 6 months to try to maximize their salary. If you could spell HTML and CSS back then, or were a reasonably skilled sysadmin, you could hop from startup to startup for 10 or 20% salary bumps just because there was so much of a frenzy.

    I guess my question is whether this is normal job hopping or whether people don't want to be associated with Uber given their bad press. Based on reports from colleagues and acquaintances who've worked at startups, all of them have insane cultures so I doubt they're jumping for better working conditions. If they do make it to self-driving cars before the startup bubble pops, and fire all their employees^Windependent contractors, they'll have a near monopoly on phone-initiated taxi service since they're basically giving away rides to boost name recognition.

    Unlike most /.ers, I'm inclined to believe some of the allegations about sexism and harassment in these startups. Most don't really have HR departments in the traditional big-company sense -- every big company I've worked for has just said "zero tolerance" and fired anyone involved. Startups work people in insane working conditions, grueling hours and close quarters; I'm sure a lot of employees don't really interact with people outside the company for much of their waking hours, which could definitely lead to "interpersonal issues." And I know anecdote != data, but most inappropriate behavior I've noticed in my career has been in salesy/marketing types -- those slimy middle aged guys leering at younger women that you hope you don't get stuck with when doing engineering work at a customer site. SV startups don't have tons of hardcore "nerds" -- most are just using app SDKs and JavaScript frameworks to write the majority of their code, and so they might trend to the extroverted side of the spectrum more than a heads-down coder working on C++ for an embedded IoT thingy. I hate to use the "brogrammer" stereotype, but I have seen it and while it's not generally true, it exists.

    • but most inappropriate behavior I've noticed in my career has been in salesy/marketing types

      Yeah. There might be sexism among programmers, but it's a rounding error compared to what sales teams do.

    • Job hopping for better pay is a result of the system working against people who stay in the same role for 2+ years, not a function of the bubble itself. The bubble just makes it easier, because companies are more aggressive with acquisition than with retention. When the bubble pops, the excess funding is shut off, and if you're lucky, you stick wherever you land until it heats up again. Right now, it's super dangerous to potentially end up stuck in a former-unicorn that is on a downward swing.

      What's more i

  • Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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