A letter from co-founder Logan Green
Today, Lyft announced co-founder and CEO Logan Green and co-founder and President John Zimmer have decided to transition from their full-time executive management positions into non-executive roles as chair and vice chair of the Lyft board, respectively. David Risher, a seasoned technology executive who previously served as Amazon’s first head of product and head of U.S. retail — and a general manager at Microsoft — before co-founding Worldreader, will become chief executive officer. You can read the full announcement here.
I’m excited to announce that on April 17th, I will transition to Chair of the Lyft Board, John will transition to a non-executive role, continuing as Vice Chair, and David Risher will become Lyft’s next CEO. After seeing David’s leadership as a member of our board, I am confident that he brings the right energy, ambition, and experience to lead Lyft through our next chapter, and I look forward to you meeting him soon.
Building this company with you has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I was 23 years old when I moved to the Bay Area and, from a 125 sq. ft. office space in Palo Alto, started working on what would eventually become Lyft. I’ve spent every moment since — both awake and asleep — completely consumed with building Lyft into something that matters. This role deserves and demands that single-mindedness.
Sixteen years later, I am ready for a new adventure — one that gives me more time to spend with my four young children, my incredible wife, my friends and family who I’ve missed spending time with over the past decades, and more time to explore new ways I can contribute to protecting our planet.
As a team, we’ve traveled a lot of miles, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together.
I remember my very first Lyft. It was the night we launched, and all of us were in the office late to make sure things were running smoothly. My wife, Eva, and I didn’t have anywhere we needed to go, but opened the app and requested a ride. Raymundo picked us up in his white VW Golf. I got in the passenger seat, gave Raymundo a fist bump, and off we went. It felt like magic! This was going to change how people live; it was going to change the very fabric of our cities.
It was unthinkable before 2012 that strangers might tap a button and pay to ride in each other’s cars. Something most people don’t know is that our competitor did everything in its power to lobby regulators to shut down the peer-to-peer category and ensure that only expensive black cars were allowed. Because of our team’s tenacity and tireless policy work, along with support from thousands of drivers, the Lyft model of ridesharing became the basis for the entire industry. It is because of that model that over 1 million drivers last year were able to collectively earn billions of dollars on the Lyft platform.
Lyft’s power to reshape how people interact with their cities and with each other is one of the most exhilarating aspects of building this company. No product was more exciting to build than Shared Rides. After spending more than a year developing the product, I’ll never forget the moment when I was walking out of a restaurant and saw two people (who didn’t know each other) both entering the same Lyft, slightly confused as to why someone else was sharing their car. They realized that they had been matched together in the same shared ride — and off they went.
Today, one in three people across the country has taken a Lyft. Cities have come to life as millions of people get off the couch to go do things they never would have done and see people they never would have seen. Tens of thousands of lives have been saved with fewer drunk drivers on the road. And millions of people have saved thousands of dollars by getting rid of a car or living car-free.
As a company, we’ve never confused being kind with being weak. That helped us grow a community that genuinely cares about doing the right thing, and uses its size and scale for good: riders have donated $30 million through Lyft’s Round Up & Donate program; we’ve witnessed the bravery and loyalty of our customers as we’ve led on important social issues, like opposing assaults on women's rights and human rights. And with our commitment to fully electrifying every Lyft on the road by 2030, we are playing a major role in accelerating the electrification of transportation. These are all high-impact examples I’m proud of, as I hope you are too. And our best years are ahead.
David is the perfect person to lead Lyft into its next chapter. He’s a customer-obsessed leader who left Microsoft over the strenuous objections of Bill Gates to join a tiny internet bookstore powered by technology. As Amazon’s first head of product and head of U.S. retail, David helped take them from an online bookstore ($15 million in sales) to the “everything store” ($4 billion in sales) and their first profitable quarter. Later, he cofounded Worldreader, a successful nonprofit that has supported 21 million children around the world.
In a field of accomplished candidates, David stood head and shoulders above the rest. As a member of the board, he knows both the challenges and opportunities ahead. He has energy and ambition. Some of the top leaders in our industry — people he hired, developed, and led — told us that he drives hard and doesn’t suffer fools. In this job, you have to run faster than the competitive, regulatory, and real-world challenges stack up. David can do that. In a permanent thank you note on the Amazon website, Jeff Bezos vowed to “continue to build on the foundation you helped pour.” I trust David to build on our foundation.
To say I have loved leading Lyft is an understatement. To say that I will miss working alongside you and this incredible team every day doesn’t even come close. This was an adventure of a lifetime, and I’ve loved every minute of it — the sweetness of the highs, and the pain of the lows that make you appreciate the next win that much more. I’m eternally grateful to this team.
And I’m perhaps most grateful to have had the opportunity to build this company with John. I relied on his strengths: if I could build it, he could sell it; when I brought in tech, he brought in hospitality. In meetings, we could read each other’s mind. Again and again he made the impossible possible, pulling off what nobody else could have. John is everything I could ask for in a cofounder. John will always be family to me, and of all the things I’ll miss, I’ll miss our morning carpools the most.
As I pass the baton to David, I want to share this: We continue to have an incredible opportunity to push the boundaries on how transportation can help connect people and build a better future. Seize the moment and make the most of it! Thank you all for being a part of this amazing journey.
Life is better when you share the ride.