Organizing to better support riders and drivers: A note from Lyft's CEO
Our CEO David Risher emailed the following note to Lyft team members this afternoon, April 27, 2023:
We’ve spent the morning focusing on our departing team members. Now I’d like us to turn to the future together. I want to cover some of that now, and more of it at tomorrow’s all-hands where I’ll also share some observations about our culture and how we are going to move forward.
Today’s changes had one organizing principle: putting riders and drivers first as we build a strong, healthy business. I asked our leaders to follow four guidelines in these decisions:
Focus on what our riders and drivers care about the most.
Reduce our costs to pass on savings in the form of lower prices and higher driver earnings that are competitive and roughly in-line with the market.
Build a flatter organization so we can make faster decisions.
Organize our teams around profitable growth, with clear ownership and accountability.
This is what today was about — making us stronger so we can fulfill our purpose. This isn’t the first time you've had to go through major org changes in the last year. That’s hard on a company, both the disruption and the saying goodbye. While I can’t make firm promises, I took today’s actions with the intention of having that phase be over.
PURPOSE — SERVING RIDERS AND DRIVERS
One of my most significant realizations over the past few weeks is that we actually have two purposes inextricably linked to each other: We help riders get out and about so they can live their lives together, and we provide drivers a way to work that gives them control over their time and money.
Rideshare is our focus and the core of our business. Delivering a great rideshare experience is the right strategy and it’s already showing signs of working (more on that tomorrow).
DRIVEN — RESTRUCTURING OUR ORG
Once we align around our purpose, we have to structure ourselves to deliver on it consistently. We are consolidating the LOB structure to accelerate work on the things our riders and drivers care about most. Here’s what’s happening with the current LOBs:
Rideshare: will be divided into three core teams with clear accountabilities.
Customers (led by Jody Kelman): Build the experiences that make it easy for riders and drivers to choose Lyft. We will simplify our offerings for riders, eliminating modes like Shared and Lux, and continue to focus on the US and Canada. Audrey Liu and the Design team will move into the Customers org.
Marketplace (led by Sid Patil): Ensure our marketplace operates as efficiently as possible matching riders and drivers.
Platforms (led by Jason Vogrinec): Empower Lyft employees and teams with systems and tools that efficiently and cost effectively enable great customer experiences at scale.
Fleet: Express Drive and Flexdrive play an important role supporting rideshare, and those teams will continue to report to Jody Kelman in her new role. We’ll wind down Fleet products focused on personal car ownership, like Garage and Rentals, and there will no longer be a Fleet Line of Business.
TBS: As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, I’m a passionate believer in bikes and all the benefits they bring to both riders and cities. Like the rest of the company, TBS will get leaner and more focused, and we'll continue to look at additional ways to drive profitable growth. David Foster will continue to lead TBS, reporting to me.
Loop: We’ve agreed to spin off Loop into a stand-alone business, with the deal being finalized in the next few weeks.
ELT will mostly stay as-is for now, with Sid and Jeff Pinner (continuing as our CTO) as new additions.
We’re also eliminating three layers of management across the company, from 8 to 5 with the intention of bringing leaders closer to their teams. This may lead to some short-term confusion as managers have more direct reports, but we'll get through it: research and my own experience suggest that flatter organizations have better information flow, faster decision-making, and higher job satisfaction. Thanks for being patient as this shakes out.
Finally, I’m thrilled to share that we’re promoting Kristin Sverchek to the role of Lyft’s President, effective July 1 when John steps down. Kristin is an outstanding leader who knows the team inside and out, and I’m thrilled we’ll be working closely together. Kristin will report to me and lead our People, Policy, Legal, Business Development, Strategic Partnerships, and Real Estate teams.
The above changes will drive quicker improvements for our riders and drivers. We are not doing more with less, we are doing less with less — that is the beauty of focus. Plus, work is just more fun when you can move fast and ship things.
You’ve heard it before: we’re going to do this together. You’ve been through a lot this past year. It is my intention that we are at the end of that road, and that all our focus turns to the future.
Culture is the bridge between these changes and the larger, more profitable, rider-and-driver obsessed organization we will become. In my first weeks, I’ve made some observations about our culture and ways that we can build on it to make faster decisions. I’d love to share them with you and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at tomorrow’s all-hands (10:00 am Pacific Time @ SF Berry all-hands space).
You’re an important part of designing Lyft’s future. Thank you for all you do.
Statements in this communication, including statements about our business strategy and our actions with respect to employees, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.