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Snippet of Recode Decode: Dara Khosrowshahi, How Uber challenged by a global pandemic

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Last Played: December 29, 2020
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Listen now to an audio snippet of “Dara Khosrowshahi, How Uber challenged by a global pandemic” from Recode Decode. Preparing for the world to re-open, and UberEats is thriving.
Decoder is a new show from The Verge about big ideas — and other problems. Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel talks to a diverse cast of innovators and policymakers at the frontiers of business and technology to reveal how they’re navigating an ever-changing landscape, what keeps them up at night, and what it all means for our shared future.
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today in the red chair is, in fact, our coaster shot. He I did not get him his job. He's the CEO of uber. He's been in that role for almost three years. I cannot believe it after previously serving as CEO of Expedia. So there's a lot we could talk about right now. Um, from his various experiences, I wanted to have him on the show to talk about the ways uber is being changed by the Copa 19 outbreak. Over the past few weeks, it laid off more than 6000 workers, has been putting new rules in place for its riders and drivers. And it's one of the companies that has been most challenged by the this crisis in Silicon Valley. Not across the country, obviously, lots more. But Dara. Welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. So let's start. If I interviewed Brian Chesky last night, I'm sort of in my the CEOs that actually have a lot of work to dio mode right now. This week on Dove course, he is Airbnb, which is very analog, and so is your business. Um, talk a little bit about your experience over the over the past, I guess. 90 days. Yeah, sure. You know, our business is most definitely has a very strong virtual component, but even stronger physical component were very local business on, especially our rise business, you know, moves when cities moves and when cities don't move, it doesn't move. Eso We did see a very, very significant decrease in our rods Volume we talked about a bit in our in our investor called ride volumes were down over 80% on a global basis. Uh, it's a pretty tough hit for everybody. First amongst them are drivers who didn't have earnings opportunities, the businesses coming back a little bit. But it's coming back off of a pretty low floor. And I think as the world opens up again, our business will come back. How that happens, What that looks like, etcetera remains to be seen. We've got a delivery business who eats, which is doing really, really well, but the rides business, which is a big profit generator, has taken a hit and it will come back. But you know, the timing in the shape of that is uncertain. Let's talk about sort of how when I'm just curious, actually, who are the 20% who are taking right? That's kind of interesting. Where is that happening? I think there there are people who we need healthcare workers going and getting the job done. I think there are a lot of folks on the front lines. We have tried to help them out on bond. We have, you know, contributed 10 million rides and meals for these folks. But life goes on. Life is still going on in these cities, and it is thes essential workers who are who are keeping the heartbeat as a patient gets better. All right, let's go through that. I went through with Brian sort of when he became aware that it was a problem. Oddly enough, he had he had sort of gotten flag to it early because they have business in China and had seen that fall enough, and we were quite worried, and then it it went to Europe and then to the US, so they sort of sort of went around the globe. You have some exposure internationally. Eso you would have that experience, but they have, especially in China, where you're not operating, talk a little bit about how it rolled out for you all. We saw it. I think it was in February or March in Hong Kong. Early on. Obviously the Hong Kong We don't have a business in China. We've got investment indeed. Who does? But we really saw the first signal in Hong Kong and it had hit that business. Hong Kong. My guess is at the time, went from growing very, very quickly to being down about 60%. Andi and we watched it as it expanded Hong Kong, Taiwan, some of the other A pack markets. And in March, it really became a really thing. On early March, we were actually gonna have a leadership team meeting get together to talk strategy. And we said We're not gonna talk strategy. We have Thio organize a strike force. A zit relates to Cove it. First order of business was to make sure that our service was safe, that our drivers were safe, etcetera. But then we have to organize the business along all the lines. Thio understand what was happening and then and then react to it. All right, Well, you So you had you were watching. Did you were talking to Davey about what was happening to them. Not really. Not really. We don't have. We don't have a daily call it relationship with D. D. It's really through the lens of Hong Kong and Taiwan, some of our of their A pack markets, and it then expanded from there very, very quickly. As you know, it was it was weeks. What were the reports people were saying is that just just rides off. They were just saying People aren't doing it or what was the message you were getting the business going? Um, cities were closing down. People were becoming more and more worried about this becoming a really issue. And for us, the biggest issue. Waas you know, we're network business on. We get people together, right? You've got a driver and a rider in the same car and the biggest issue for us. Waas. How do we make sure that a driver who for one reason or the other is feeling sick does not feel the need, uh, toe work because then we could be right a part of this issue. So almost immediately we went out and put a policy in place where drivers who were feeling sick due to covert etcetera. They could stay home and they could keep earning and so that we remove that issue of and I need to keep burning. So I'm going to take risks not only for myself but for others. That was order number one on. Then we started going. It's it really waas getting health experts country by country, government by government, because we're very, very local business and just being on the ground, receptive on frankly being part of the solution and not part of.
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