Uber may be the biggest, most well-known transport aggregator in the world, but strong competition from the likes of Lyft in the U.S., Hailo in the U.K., MyTaxi in Germany, GrabTaxi in the Far East, Didi Chuxing in China and Ola in India have hit the company hard. So much so that in the first six months of this year alone, the ride-hailing company made a loss of over $1.2 billion dollars. The company is already believed to have lost around $2 billion in China over the past couple of years, which has now been compounded by the latest reports, all of which are proving to be a huge dampener ahead of its planned IPO later this year.
With losses continuing to pile up, Uber recently exited the ultra-competitive Chinese market, selling its business to the local market leader, Didi Chuxing, for a 17.5% stake in the parent company. In an effort to get the company's finances back on track, Uber has now announced that its Board President, Mr. Ryan Graves, will be stepping down and will be replaced by the chief marketing officer of Target, Mr. Jeff Jones. In a blog post titled "Jeff, Your Uber is arriving now", the company's co-founder and CEO, Mr. Travis Kalanick, said that the former president will continue to remain “integrally involved with Uber” as the company’s “resident entrepreneur and builder”. It wasn’t immediately evident, however, as to what exactly his new responsibilities at the company will be. As for the new board president, he will be looking after Uber’s operations, marketing and customer support.
The news of Mr. Graves stepping down from his position is the second such shakeup in the Uber management this week. A couple of days ago, it was the turn of Google’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Mr. David Drummond, to step down from his membership of the Uber board over growing concerns regarding conflict of interest, with reports of Google starting its own ride-sharing service doing the rounds. It remains to be seen if the new recruit can turn around the fortunes of the company, which was valued at a whopping $69 billion dollars after the latest rounds of funding earlier this year, when it raised a reported $2 billion in the leveraged-loan market, just days after raising $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.