Note from Grab CEO and Co-Founder Anthony Tan


Grab CEO and Co-Founder Anthony Tan sent the following note to employees earlier today.

Dear Grabbers,

From the moment we began navigating through this global health crisis, I hoped I would not have to send a note like this. It is with heavy heart that I share with you today that we will be letting go about 360 Grabbers, or just under 5 percent of our employees.

We understand this news will cause anxiety and dread. Please know that we did not come to this decision lightly. We tried everything possible to avoid this but had to accept that the difficult cuts we are making today are required, because millions depend on us for a living in this new normal. 

Every impacted Grabber has contributed to building Grab into the everyday app that it is today. We are deeply grateful for your efforts and we will do all that we can to help you get back on your feet.

We have always hired with the best of intentions for Grabbers to grow together with us. We are truly sorry for what’s happening today. To those who are impacted, we owe you an explanation.

Since February, we have seen the stark impact of COVID-19 on businesses globally, ours included. At the same time, it has become clear that the pandemic will likely result in a prolonged recession and we have to prepare for what may be a long recovery period. Over the past few months, we reviewed all costs, cut back on discretionary spending, and implemented pay cuts for senior management. In spite of all this, we recognize that we still have to become leaner as an organization in order to tackle the challenges of the post-pandemic economy.

To achieve this, we will be sunsetting some non-core projects, consolidating functions for greater efficiency, and right-sizing teams to better match our changing business needs given the external environment. We are also doubling-down on our delivery verticals and have redeployed Grabbers to meet the increased consumer demand for deliveries. We were able to save many jobs through this redeployment of resources and it helped limit the scope of the reduction exercise to just under 5 percent. I assure you that this will be the last organization-wide layoff this year and I am confident as we execute against our refreshed plans to meet our targets, we will not have to go through this painful exercise again in the foreseeable future.

Our Board and leaders continue to be bullish on our business outlook. We will focus on adapting our core verticals such as ride-hailing, deliveries, payments and financial services to address the challenges and opportunities of the new normal. At the same time, we will expand support for small businesses by enriching our merchant service offerings. We believe these steps will steady us on the path towards sustainability.

If you are affected by this layoff exercise, you will receive an email by today, June 16th, 1pm SGT, with guidance on next steps. We want to make sure you can speak to your Business Manager and HR representative personally, and have organized these discussions to take place as soon as possible over the next two days. Please bear with us as we strive to facilitate this process with a high degree of sensitivity, and with utmost respect for your privacy. If you are not notified by 1pm SGT, you are not impacted, and I encourage you to be there for Grabbers who are. 

For Grabbers leaving us, I understand the mix of emotions and anxieties you will go through over the next few days, weeks and months, and we wanted to address that by providing financial, professional, medical and emotional support that includes:

  • Severance payment of half a month for every 6 months of completed service, or based on local statutory guidelines, whichever is higher. 
  • Enhanced separation payment equivalent to about 1.5 months of salary on top of the severance pay as additional assistance during this COVID-19 crisis and bonus for work done in 2020.
  • Waiver of annual cliffs for equity vesting, so that more Grabbers can leave as shareholders. This means that your outstanding unvested equity will vest monthly until your last date of employment.
  • Medical insurance coverage until the end of this year through existing medical insurance, or a stipend equivalent, so you can have peace of mind through these uncertain times.
  • Maternity and paternity leave encashment for female Grabbers who are expecting and male Grabbers whose wife is expecting, as of the last date of employment.
  • Encashment of unused accrued annual leave and unused GrabFlex credits under your Flexible Spending Account.
  • Career transition and development support in the form of outplacement support from our Talent Acquisition team and the creation of a Talent Directory that allows recruiters and companies to reach out to impacted Grabbers for opportunities. We will also provide impacted Grabbers access to sessions with a life coach and half a year’s worth of online career development tools, so they can continue to grow in their personal and professional lives. 
  • Emotional support via the Grabber Assistance Program which you will continue to be able to access for 3 months after your last date of employment.
  • Finally, you can opt to keep your laptops to help you in your search of your next adventure. 

In our eight years, we have faced numerous challenges, and we have always been able to survive – and thrive – because our commitment to our consumers in Southeast Asia is unwavering. We are deeply rooted here and we continue to stay true to our mission of driving Southeast Asia forward. 

This is a difficult time for all Grabbers, and I know that this is a lot to take in. If any of you have questions or need a listening ear, please feel free to ping me over email or Slack, and I’ll gladly receive your feedback and do my best to provide answers. 

To the Grabbers who will be leaving us, each of you has made a lasting imprint on our region through your sacrifice, grit and determination. I am deeply grateful for your efforts and we are where we are today because of you. Thank you for sharing your talent and passion with us. Thank you for enriching the lives of Grabbers, our consumers, and partners through your contributions. You will always be part of the Grab family. 





Translated notes: 


Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

COVID-19 has dealt an unprecedented blow to the tourism industry, affecting the livelihoods of millions of workers. One of them was Komsan, an assistant chef in a luxury hotel based in the Srinakarin area.

As the number of tourists at the hotel plunged, he decided to sign up as a GrabFood delivery-partner to earn an alternative income. Soon after, the hotel ceased operations.

Komsan has viewed this change through an optimistic lens, calling it the perfect opportunity for him to embark on a fresh journey after his previous job. Aside from GrabFood deliveries, he now also picks up GrabExpress jobs. It can get tiring, having to shuttle between different locations, but Komsan finds it exciting. And mostly, he’s glad to get his income back on track.