Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says, “Cars are to us, what books are to Amazon.”
Uber seems to be in a real identity crisis as of late. With the exit of its cowboy ex-CEO Travis Kalanick last year due to sexual harassment claims and it’s courtroom controversy about its theft of self-driving tech from Waymo, Uber has been on the defense in Silicon Valley.
New Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is hoping to turn things around for the car tech company and that starts with where Uber is focusing its efforts.
Doing It All
Bloomberg reported that while speaking at a conference in San Francisco, Khosrowshahi listed the company’s goals of services, tossing out ambitions for food delivery, freight, autonomous vehicles, buses, and bikes. But while Uber Technologies is synonymous with ride sharing and car tech and become a household name, it has taken a financial hit. In 2017, Uber saw a loss of $4.5 billion on $7.5 billion in revenue.
While that figure may be controversial in terms of consumer confidence, Uber CEO Khosrowshahi compared Uber to Amazon. The Seattle-based consumer giant saw $178 billion in sales in 2017, but a net income of only around $2.24 billion was reported. The comparison is that with great risks (i.e. branching out into freight and food) comes great loss. But the new Uber CEO is hopeful in his ambitions, carrying that baton from his predecessor, and projecting that by 2023 he could imagine Uber being the sole provider of transportation for a city.
Investing in the Future
Uber has other ambitions besides technology. Even though Uber started out as a car-booking service it has since tacked on other projects like food delivery and ride sharing, while beginning to test freight transportation and autonomous vehicles. But will it go public anytime soon?
“We’re a publicly reporting private company–go figure,” said Khosrowshahi, following his admission that running a money-losing business is a little uncomfortable.
Even after the controversial lawsuit over self-driving tech put a loss in the company’s column, the Uber CEO claimed that its looking to slowly cut in autonomous vehicles in its ride-sharing fleet. Along with human drivers, Khosrowshahi said this “hybrid approach” will grow its staff of drivers even with an increase in autonomous vehicles.
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