Transforming Uber: A Conversation with CEO Dara Khosrowshahi | Acquired
In a candid and insightful discussion, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi shares his experiences and lessons from his career journey, the transformation of Uber under his leadership, and his vision for the company’s future.
The conversation offers valuable insights into leadership, business strategy, and the importance of adaptability in an ever-changing business landscape.
Building a Supply-Led Business
Uber’s growth strategy is supply-led, focusing on attracting drivers back to the platform and improving the service they provide.
This approach has helped balance the marketplace and continues to drive growth.
Understanding Economic Cycles
Khosrowshahi highlights the importance of understanding economic cycles in managing a business like Uber.
The company experiences a counter-cyclical pattern, with driver recruitment becoming more challenging during economic booms and easier during downturns.
Recruitment Process for Uber CEO
Khosrowshahi’s recruitment as Uber’s CEO was a structured process involving consultations with mentors and industry leaders.
Despite initial hesitations, he was persuaded to take up the role, recognizing the potential impact he could make at Uber.
Addressing Uber’s Challenges
When Khosrowshahi took over, Uber was facing significant financial and market share losses.
Despite these challenges, he saw potential in the company’s global position, talent pool, and brand, and was willing to undertake the task of turning the company around.
Global Expansion and Strategic Shifts
Uber’s strategy has evolved to include expansion into suburban areas and diversification of food options.
The company is also adapting its business model to fit different countries’ legal frameworks, focusing on key areas like ride-sharing, UberEats, and freight.
Resolving Power Struggles
Uber has resolved significant power struggles by transitioning from a high-vote to a low-vote system.
This move allowed SoftBank to invest in the company, eliminated the control of any single party, and shifted the focus towards building a successful company.
Valuation Journey and Social Media Use
Khosrowshahi discusses Uber’s remarkable valuation journey and his approach to social media.
He prefers to use platforms like Twitter for a mix of personal and business content, refraining from sharing personal views.
When you’re in the center of the storm, it looks like oh my God life is going to be over but things revert to normal. I mean you look at like the pandemic and everyone’s looking for all these long-term changes and everything reverts to normal. – Dara Khosrowshahi
Future of Self-Driving Cars
The development of self-driving cars presents significant challenges, particularly in achieving an acceptable safety level.
Uber has decided to partner with companies specializing in self-driving technology, allowing it to focus on its core competencies.
Focus on Earners
Khosrowshahi emphasizes the importance of focusing on the experience of earners (drivers and couriers) in Uber’s platform.
The company is now investing more in improving the earner experience, recognizing its crucial role in Uber’s future success.