Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, recently disclosed that he spent several months as a driver for the company in order to comprehend the experiences of drivers during the pandemic. However, the experiment ultimately compelled the CEO to “reexamine each and every assumption we’ve made.”
In the months that followed, Uber’s CEO made dozens of journeys as a driver, transporting passengers around the San Francisco hills. Mr. Khosrowshahi’s side job was part of his campaign.
Moonlighting was Mr. Khosrowshahi’s campaign.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Khosrowshahi stated, “I believe the industry as a whole has taken chauffeurs for granted to some extent.” Using his experience as a covert driver, he made significant modifications to the ride-hailing app.
During his time as an undercover driver, he was penalized by the app for rejecting trips, tipped-baited by customers, and encountered a number of other obstacles that helped him comprehend the issues drivers experience.
The CEO of Uber stated that it was difficult for him to become a driver, that he personally witnessed tip luring, and that he was punished by the app for rejecting journeys. Surprisingly intolerable was the arrogance of some Uber passengers.
WSJ reported that the campaign codenamed Project Boomerang helped define what has become one of the most significant business transformations for Uber since its inception in 2009. Investors exerted pressure on the CEO to increase profits.
In 2021, when the economy reopened, Uber confronted a labor shortage. The company realized that it needed to do more than just offer incentives to attract chauffeurs. The company implemented the modifications that the chauffeurs had requested, and they were successful.
In 2022, Uber’s ride-sharing revenue more than doubled, and the company recorded its first full-year adjusted profit since its inception. According to consumer receipts analyzed by YipitData, it now controls 74% of the U.S. ride-sharing market, up from 62% at the beginning of 2020.
Mr. Khosrowshahi stated, “The entire experience was fairly cumbersome.”
He began his career as an Uber driver by posing as a city-chauffeuring Uber driver using a pre-owned Tesla and a carefully curated Spotify playlist.
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Mr. Khosrowshahi compelled him to implement a number of adjustments, but he stated that there is still much work to be done.