If you are one of my dedicated readers, and you read last month’s article, you might think that this month’s article should be about the funeral of Uber (and/or the Wake or Shiva, depending on your religion). Well, it is not about Uber’s funeral but quite the contrary, this month I will discuss recent talk about how many investors are either still investing in Uber or looking to cut a deal with Uber.

In an article by Seth Fiegerman, CNN reports that “Uber has gone 64 days without a CEO.” Well, Uber did finally select Dara Khosrowshahi, who previously led the online travel company Expedia, to be its chief executive in August – but the fact that it took so long is not a good sign for the company, and the CNN article went on to point out that Uber still has no CFO, COO or CMO. In addition, other top employees, including its first employee and SVP of Global Operations, have also stepped down in the months since Travis Kalanick’s departure as CEO (which by the way if you missed it in last month’s column, was in June 2017).

The article further speaks about what could be Uber’s escalating and potentially existential courtroom battle with Google’s Waymo, over stolen self-driving car technology. And it talks about how Benchmark, an early Uber investor, sued Kalanick in August in an effort to get him off the board. Among other allegations, Benchmark accused Kalanick of trying to “acquire the power to pack the Board to facilitate his desired re-appointment as Uber’s CEO.”

With many heavy hitters in play for a number of top spots at Uber, and a Board at war with itself, they must somehow find a way to come together to save the company. It appears that while they are fighting at the top of the mountain, those at the bottom must either hang in there or abandon ship. Those that are at the bottom (the drivers) have the option of either leaving Uber and returning to the Black Car industry (as some have been doing) or the Yellow Cab industry, or staying with the company in the hopes that a new set of officers will steer the company on a new and profitable course.

Yet another critical issue facing Uber is its stock value. Although Uber is a privately held company, not a publicly traded one, it does nonetheless have a value. Since late 2015, it had a value of $48.77 per share. At the end of June 2017 Vanguard Group, Principal and Hartford Funds all valued the company at $41.16 per share, a 15% decrease according to their report. T. Rowe Price Group, meanwhile, valued its Uber stock at $42.70 a share. The above numbers appeared in an article in The Business Insider, by Becky Peterson on August 22, 2017.

It appears to me that slow and steady is the pace that should be set for Uber’s recovery. Having watched the Black Car industry grow from its inception to where it is today, I am reasonably safe in saying that the Black Car companies that grew too fast and were not profitable from operations are the ones that are no longer with us.



Article by Victor Dizengoff

Victor Dizengoff is a retired industry icon and a founder of the New York Black Car industry.

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