Lyft Employees Told to Return to Office as New Chief Executive Lays Out Vision
Since the pandemic began, Lyft employees have been able to log in to video conferencing from home and work remotely across the country like many other tech workers. Last year, the company formally announced its policy. tell the staff The job is “totally flexible,” subleasing office floors in San Francisco and elsewhere.
more than this. The company’s new chief executive, David Rischer, told employees at an all-hands meeting on Friday that they will have to return to the office at least three days a week starting this fall. It was one of the first major changes he made since beginning this month on , and it came just one day after laying off 26% of Lyft’s workforce.
“Things go faster face-to-face,” Risher said in an interview. He said remote work in the tech industry was costly and led to isolation and cultural erosion.
This decision, coupled with layoffs and other changes, marks the beginning of a new chapter for Lyft. It could also indicate that some tech companies, especially those struggling, may be changing their minds about the flexibility of where their employees work. A push to work in the office can quickly turn into a request.
After falling behind rival Uber, Lyft released disturbing results in February. Its co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer said they were stepping down the following month.
Risher, a Microsoft and Amazon veteran and former Lyft board member, plans to streamline the business, reduce costs, and focus on improving the quality and lowering prices of Lyft’s core offering of ride-hailing services to consumers. was erected. .
Lyft employees complain that layoffs appear to have disproportionately affected divisions outside the core ride-hailing business, such as units that provide rental cars to gig drivers and rent bikes and scooters to consumers. is leaking. Richer said the cut was all over the place.
He said the cost savings from layoffs will lead to lower prices for riders and more income for drivers.
The next step in his plan, he said, was to remind passengers that Lyft is a viable alternative to Uber. Rischer said over the summer that the product would be introduced gradually to build interest in the platform. This could include partnering with companies to offer his Lyft rides to employees commuting to the office, he said.
The company’s next steps will be difficult. Many of his Lyft employees were accustomed to working from home, and some were already freaking out over the possibility of returning to the office. Lyft continues to lag behind Uber, which has a global ride-hailing business and food delivery service.
Lyft’s stock is trading at $10 a share, down from its peak of $78, leading some to speculate that it could be an acquisition target. The company will report its most recent quarterly results next week, expecting earnings of $975 million, below the $1.1 billion investors had expected earlier this year. No profit yet.
Risher announced several other changes on Thursday. He ended products focused on car rentals, shared rides and luxury vehicles and promoted Kristin Sverczyk, head of business affairs, to president.
Lyft also planned to tell employees it would be cutting its stock grants this year, according to people familiar with the decision.
Risher said the return-to-office plan requires workers to report to work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and recommends starting Tuesdays after Labor Day. Remote work is allowed for one month each year, and people who live far from the office do not have to come to the office.
Richer said he sees this moment as an opportunity to “reset the culture, especially when it comes to decision-making.”
Lyft was successful in its early ride-hailing business, but Green and Zimmer’s idea of building a transportation network with products focused on scooters, bikes, parking lots and rental cars “didn’t resonate with people. He said. “
“So now my focus is, ‘Well, there’s a huge amount of innovation left in ridesharing alone. People desperately want to get out and live their lives. We can help them,” Risher said. “And over time, we might be able to build something on top of that.”