Uber dials down financial services plans, unit head quits

FILE PHOTO: Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi of ride-hailing app Uber pictured on stage during an event in New York City, New York, U.S., September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Uber Technologies Inc.’s financial services leader Peter Hazlehurst is calling it quits as the ride-hailing giant focuses on rides and food delivery, and ices plans to become a financial services company.

In an email to staff on Thursday, Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said that Uber will “deprioritize” several of its finance-related projects, which have included credit cards, a digital wallet and instant payments for drivers. Khosrowshahi wrote in the email to staff reviewed by Bloomberg that in light of the change in direction at the company, “I understand Peter’s decision to pursue something more aligned with his passion and initial ambitions.”

Hazlehurst announced his decision Thursday in an email to his Uber Money team, the financial group he’s led since 2018. He described the ambitious plan he presented at the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas late last year for the digital wallet and a host of other Uber financial products as “without a doubt, the highlight of my career.”

In an interview, he added, “If we aren’t going crazy big on these products then I should get out of the way.” Hazlehurst said the New York-based team Uber hired to build financial services is now working on projects for Uber Eats.

Hazlehurst’s departure marks the latest high-profile exit at the unprofitable company, now struggling to retrench amid cratering demand. Uber has seen rides drop roughly 70% during the coronavirus pandemic, with no clear timeline for a return to normal. The company also embarked on a series of radical cuts last month, decreasing the size of its workforce by 25% and offloading of cash-burning businesses, including some food delivery markets and its electric bike division.

In his email, Khsorowshahi said Uber Money employees will now report to Peeyush Nahar, vice president of technology. Uber Eats boss Jason Droege, and Uber Chief Technology Officer Thuan Pham have also resigned this year.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.