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It's a long way to go and getting 'the love back' is a priority: Uber CEO

The job is proving to be even more difficult than Khosrowshahi anticipated five months ago after Uber lured him to replace its embattled co-founder, Travis Kalanick, as CEO

AP  |  San Francisco 

Dara Khosrowshahi, President/CEO, Expedia
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

is focused on cutting the company's massive losses and "getting the love back" after a year of damaging revelations about the ride-hailing service's sometimes heartless treatment of its employees, drivers, regulators and rivals.

"We strive to be and should be a brand that is as beloved as and Google," said late Wednesday during an appearance at a

"We have a long way to go, but we have to re-earn our consumer and trust. Just getting the love back is a very important priority for us."

The job is proving to be even more difficult than anticipated five months ago after lured him away from online travel agency to replace its embattled co-founder, Travis Kalanick, as

Khosrowshahi inherited a mess after acknowledged rampant sexual harassment within its ranks and its use of to thwart government regulators while dealing with the fallout from a video that captured Kalanick berating one of its own drivers.

To make matters worse, Khosrowshahi discovered that Uber had covered up a computer break-in that stole personal information about millions of riders and drivers.

He also landed in the midst of a court battle that pitted Uber against a spinoff alleging that the ride-hailing service had conspired to steal its while Kalanick was running things.

"It looked messy and it was messy," Khosrowshahi said. As part of the cleanup, Uber last week agreed to pay $245 million to settle the trade secrets case brought by Waymo, the company spawned by a started by

The settlement came after four days of trial testimony that included a dramatic appearance by Kalanick, who fended off accusations of orchestrating a heist during more than two hours on the witness stand.

"I thought Travis was terrific," Khosrowshahi said. "I thought he really held up well, and spoke his mind. I think that helped us get to the settlement."


Uber didn't acknowledge any wrongdoing in the settlement that gave Waymo's corporate parent, Alphabet Inc., more stock in the ride-hailing service. Google, which is also owned by Alphabet, had already accumulated Uber stock as one of the company's early investors.

Alphabet and other investors stand to reap big gains on their stakes if Uber files for an initial public offering of stock next year, as Khosrowshahi plans. But how well Uber's stock fares on Wall Street will likely be tied to whether the company proves it can make money something it isn't close to doing now.

Uber lost $4.5 billion in 2017, widening from a $2.8 billion setback in the previous year. The results released earlier this week showed Uber pared its fourth-quarter loss by 25 percent from the third quarter, a modestly encouraging sign.

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 12:04 IST
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