By Bridgette Webb
Dara Khosrowshahi marked his first anniversary as Uber's CEO by addressing ride safety on Wednesday at an event in New York City, where he debuted a string of new features. It's the latest in a series of changes the relatively-new chief has introduced after a cascade of PR nightmares that pushed founder CEO Travis Kalanick out the door.
But Andrew Hawkins, transportation reporter for The Verge, said there's still serious work to be done, and chief among those efforts should be plans to stop harassment.
"In terms of Uber's internal culture over the last 12 months or so, there is still issue with harassment, employees feeling that top-level executives aren't responding to issues of racial and gender harassment," Hawkins said Wednesday in an interview on Cheddar.
"It's not clear that [Khosrowshahi's] main task of righting the ship, correcting Uber's toxic work culture, has been a 100 percent success."
Among the features Khosrowshahi unveiled Wednesday was an emergency button for drivers in case of an accident and a hands-free way to interact with the app while driving. Drivers in 39 states will also now have the ability to start an insurance claim through the app.
The updates come as the company is prepping for an IPO, which Khosrowshahi said is on track for next year.
Uber recently selected Nelson Chai, who as a former banker and New York Stock Exchange exec is well-versed in the IPO process, as its new CFO. The position had been vacant for almost three years.
Joshua Franklin, private equity and IPO correspondent for Reuters, said it's very likely that Uber will make it to market by its intended goal, but it might not get there before chief U.S. rival Lyft.
"From a Lyft perspective, you can get out front and tell your story. You do get a chance to define the market," Franklin in a separate interview on Cheddar Wednesday.
He added that the criteria for a ride-sharing company's success is still undetermined.
"No one knows what the performance metrics are going to be for ride-sharing," he said. "Someone can come out and say it needs to be dollars per ride or repeat visits per ride, per customer."
For full interview click here.