An interview with Lyft's new CEO, David Risher
Lyft has struggled to keep up with Uber, and the company's founders recently stepped down. Here's what the new CEO says about preparing for the role.
On Tuesday, I sat down (virtually) with Lyft’s new CEO, David Risher. It was his second day on the job at the ridesharing service and we talked about everything from what it’s like to take over a company from its founders, to his experience as a Lyft driver. Below is a transcript of our conversation, edited for clarity.
Two things I’ll just point out upfront. The first is that it seems as though Risher is genuine about his commitment to making Lyft a company that drivers want to work with. The other is that he seems acutely aware of the challenges the company faces in making that happen. That’s most likely due to the fact he has served on the company’s board since 2021.
It was a great conversation, and I’m excited to share it with you:
I saw the link to your LinkedIn post about driving. So, I would love to dive into that for a minute to start and talk about that experience that you had. Obviously, you were on the Board for Lyft, so it's not like the business was new to you necessarily. But I'm wondering what the experience of driving taught you about your customers, and about your drivers in general?
Yeah. So. So the first thing I should say is, it was awesome. And, by the way, it was also sort of spur of the moment. My wife was traveling a couple of Saturdays ago, and I'm like, ‘oh, let's just go out for a ride.’ So, my marketing group was a little bit like, ‘hey, next time, maybe give us a heads up on this beforehand.’
So I'll sort of tell you the story. You know, I drove for maybe two or maybe three hours or so. And here's what I learned very quickly. Number one, it's much more fun than you think it is.