Uber chief executive says business is “surprisingly good” given the scandalous year


It’s been a spectacular 12 months of scandals for ride-sharing business Uber, but its new chief executive says as the business moves in a new and more responsible direction, the underlying strength of the company’s infrastructure has been revealed to him.

Taking to the stage at the DLD Technology conference in Munish, Dara Khosrowshahi said that while he never envisaged becoming chief executive of the ride-sharing company in the circumstances he did, the experience has shown a lot about what happens when a company tries to “win at all costs”.

“During the good years, I did admire Uber … certainly now I am inside Uber what I realise now is that winning, and winning as Uber did, covers a lot of faults inside the company,” he said.

Khosrowshahi left Expedia to take the reigns at Uber in the middle of 2017  after founder Travis Kalanick departed amid a range of high-profile scandals involving the company’s toxic culture.

Discussing his time at the wheel since, Khosrowshahi says he found the company in surprisingly good nick, with the individual programming teams within the business having created strong operating systems.

“Business is surprisingly good, (taking account of) everything that the company went through,” he said.

“The local teams have very strong entrepreneurial control over what they do,” he says.

“The part of the business that is not going particularly well is the profitability part.”

However, even that could soon be a non-existent problem, he says. Speaking at the world economic forum in Davos this week, Khosrowshahi asserted Uber would be profitable “before 2022”, reports the Toronto Star. 

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