How is Uber’s New CEO Managing Reputation Risk and Brand Image?

Since 2017, Uber has been in the headlines for numerous reasons, the major one being having a toxic work culture. Owing to this reputation risk, CEO Travis Kalanick had to resign in June 2017 after constant pressure from its investors and of course, the public. Then, after much speculation and a tough voting phase, Dara Khosrowshahi took away the crown.

Amongst expectations of seeing woman take control as Uber’s new CEO, how is this 48 year old Iranian American who left Expedia (after spearheading it for 13 long years) mending the company’s reputation risk and living up to everyone’s expectations?

Well, instead of taking today’s sharp-elbowed digital marketing approaches, Dara’s first strategy was to follow where the action is.

He apologized to the mass for all the previous mistakes this controversial unicorn start-up has done. 

Next, emphasizing on transparency, Dara shared a post in LinkedIn highlighting 8 pillars which are likely to be the company’s new culture. That includes – Uber is customer focused; This brand lives locally but builds globally; Uber does the right thing; It does celebrate differences; Uber perseveres; It focuses more on ideas than hierarchy; It makes bigger bets and Uber acts like an owner .

The new CEO did clarify that polices which brought this brand to where it is today, cannot take it the same way to its next level. For that, there needs to be an evolution of ‘company culture’. 

Guess its consequences?

Khosrowshahi is presently patting on his back for his calculative steps taken.

Even the board has voted positive for the proposed changes which would reduce influence of certain members. The new CEO is very optimistic of overcoming this reputation risk which the brand has suffered and is coming up with a firm strategy.

Cancellation of license renewal:

Recently, London has denied renewing Uber’s license for operating in the city. While Dara expressed his disagreement with that announcement, he did send an email to all his employees, as a smart digital marketing strategy, teaching them Emotional Intelligence or EI.

Do you know what EI is?

It’s the capability of identifying emotions and their powerful effects to use them for informing and guiding behavior.

Dara taught employees to learn from others’ perspectives and see the bigger picture. Through his email, he made them understand the significance of negative feedback which can uncover blind spots and expose opportunities of improvement.

Aiming India!

Amidst all these, Uber sees India as one of their 3 healthiest markets after US and Latin America. Dara claims that there are presently more than 3 lakh drivers who do more than 10 million trips per week. Aiming for a 5x or 10x hike in the coming decade, Uber with its new torchbearer is confident about its competitive stand in India.

Altogether, Uber is now quite optimistic and changing the brand image with smart strategies.

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