Feb 15, 2018

Uber CEO: Softbank deal, Waymo settlement were about "peace"

Dara Khosrowshahi speaks onstage at The New York Times 2017 DealBook Conference on November 9, 2017 in New York City. Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times

Two of Uber's recent deals — an investment from Softbank and settling its lawsuit with Waymo — were about keeping "peace in the kingdom," said new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on Wednesday at Goldman Sach's tech conference in San Francisco.

Big picture: Khosrowshahi's job so far has been clear: eliminate as much drama from the company as possible. The Softbank investment in particular, was about providing liquidity to early shareholders and paving way for important governance changes that have been overdue.

Why he went forward with the Softbank deal:

  • "They were very knowledgeable about the space,” he said of Softbank, which had already invested in ride-hailing companies like Didi Chuxing in China. "I think that Softbank is very smart, deep-pocketed money,” adding he'd rather have the company as an ally than a competitor.
  • "They are looking at a lot of adjacencies around electrification, batteries," and so on.
  • "[Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son] is a visionary —if a visionary wants to make a bet on you, let’s make it happen.”

On last week's settlement with Waymo:

  • The case "was a very, very significant distraction for our teams that are working on autonomy... It put [the autonomous driving team's] really good work under question mark.”
  • "Neither company is particularly happy with the settlement, which means it's probably a good settlement.”
  • "I was happy for Alphabet, or Google, to become a bigger investor in us.” (Alphabet's VC arm, GV, first invested in Uber in 2013.)

Uber has bigger transportation ambitions than just ride-hailing: "Cars to us are what books were to Amazon," Khosrowshahi said of the Seattle giant.

Go deeper

In photos: Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Authorities warned Americans to take precautions against the coronavirus pademic amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

The big picture: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, authorities on Florida's Gulf Coast closed parking lots because they were full and there were crowded scenes at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri, per AP, which reports a shooting injured several people at a packed Daytona Beach in Florida.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.