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A letter from Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer

letter from CEO

April 2019

Ten years ago, Uber was born out of a watershed moment in technology. The rise of smartphones, the advent of app stores, and the desire for on-demand work supercharged Uber’s growth and created an entirely new standard of consumer convenience. What began as “Tap a button, get a ride” has become something much more profound: ridesharing and carpooling; meal delivery and freight; electric bikes and scooters; and self-driving cars and urban aviation.

Of course, in getting from point A to point B we didn’t get everything right. Some of the attributes that made Uber a wildly successful startup—a fierce sense of entrepreneurialism, our willingness to take risks that others might not, and that famous Uber hustle—led to missteps along the way. In fact, when I joined Uber as CEO, many people asked me why I would leave the stability of my previous job for one that was anything but. My answer was simple: Uber is a once-in-a-generation company, and the opportunity ahead of it is enormous.

Today, Uber accounts for less than 1% of all miles driven globally. Just a small percentage of people in countries where Uber is available have ever used our services. And we are still barely scratching the surface when it comes to huge industries like food and logistics, and how the future of urban mobility will reshape cities for the better.

Building this platform has required a willingness to challenge orthodoxies and reinvent—sometimes even disrupt—ourselves. Over the last decade, as the needs and preferences of our customers have changed, we’ve changed too. Now we’re becoming something different once again: a public company.

Taking this step means that we have even greater responsibilities—to our shareholders, our customers, and our colleagues. That’s why, over the past 18 months, we’ve improved our governance and board oversight; built a stronger and more cohesive management team; and made the changes necessary to ensure that our company culture rewards teamwork and encourages employees to commit for the long term.

Because we’re not even 1% done with our work, we will operate with an eye toward the future. We will optimize for the happiness and loyalty of our customers rather than marginal trip or transaction growth. And we will not shy away from making short-term financial sacrifices where we see clear long-term benefits.

Our continued success will come from stellar execution and the strength of the platform we have worked so hard to build. Our network spans tens of millions of consumers and partners and represents one of the world’s largest platforms for independent work. Our engineering and product teams are solving some of the most difficult problems at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. And our regional operations teams let us build and run our business as true citizens of the cities we serve.

I want to close with my commitment to you: I won’t be perfect, but I will listen to you; I will ensure that we treat our customers, our colleagues, and our cities with respect; and I will run our business with passion, humility, and integrity.

Dara Khosrowshahi