Jan 22, 2018

Uber CEO: "Business is actually surprisingly good"

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says that despite a year of scandals and turmoil, the company's business is quite strong, if nowhere near profitable.

"Business is actually surprisingly good for everything that the company went through," Dara Khosrowshahi said Monday, speaking at the DLD18 conference in Munich.

Yes, but: "The part of the business that is not going well is the profitability part. We have some details to work out."

Khosrowshahi used much of his talk to show Uber as a better, more humble company, something his predecessor also tried to do at the same conference in 2016.

In particular, he said that the company is working closely with regulators and others in Germany after earlier trying to just push its way in.

"The last time around we went too fast," he said, adding that the result is that Uber's German business is going to expand more slowly than the company has elsewhere. "If we do it the right way the German economy is certainly worth the effort."

That said, he pushed back on some German laws, including one that requires ride services to return to a garage, something that he said isn't good for business, traffic or the environment.

"I wouldn’t say (it is) over-regulated but there are certainly some regulations that don’t make sense," he said.


  • Khosrowshahi said UberEats is on pace to be the largest food delivery company in the world this year.
  • He's also bullish on flying cars: "I think that’s going to happen sooner than you think," he said. "I think that’s going to happen in the next 10 years."
  • The company wants to continue to give drivers flexibility (aka keep them as freelancers) but is weighing what more it might be able to do for those who drive for the company essentially full-time. Khosrowshahi didn't commit to any specific benefits.

Go deeper

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.

Brace yourself for a coronavirus outbreak

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public-health officials’ warnings about the coronavirus are sounding increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday "to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."

Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly, and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

Go deeperArrow54 mins ago - Health

Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.