Uber Executives Addressed Driver Complaints Only After Using Their Own Product wsj.com

Preetika Rana, the Wall Street Journal:

The CEO pinged Uber’s head of driver operations, Carrol Chang, on Slack minutes later. “Getting a lot of questions,” he wrote, Ms. Chang said. “But I stand by the driver investments and fully believe it’s going to pay off.”


In June that year, she held a four-hour Zoom meeting with company executives and asked them to ferry passengers and food for the app so they would understand drivers’ grievances.


The following weekend, [Dara] Khosrowshahi hopped on an electric bike and began delivering food in San Francisco. Posing as a gig worker for the first time was a wake-up call, he said.

According to the Journal, Khosrowshahi was not the only executive to agree to Chang’s suggestion and having meaningful suggestions. And, sure, I should acknowledge how good it is for these executives to put themselves in the shoes of their workers to discover what using the product is really like. But another way to read this soft focus piece is Uber’s CEO of nearly six years has not used the company’s product until recently, nor has he taken seriously the repeated and longstanding complaints of workers. As PR-friendly as this piece is, it also looks more than a little embarrassing for Uber’s executive team.