Contents:

3 min read

    3 min read

    In this episode, I’m speaking with Andrew Macdonald, the Senior Vice President, Global Rides and Platform – and he’s also leading Uber’s cross-functional task force in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a huge task, and he’s in charge of Uber’s response from the driver and riders’ perspectives. We’ll chat about how the task force came to be, Uber’s response to the coronavirus, and what changes Uber has had to make during this response. We’ll cover a lot in this episode, so make sure to give it a listen!

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    Intro

    • Today I’m talking with Andrew Macdonald, Senior Vice President, Global Rides and Platform
    • Pandemic has shifted things tremendously for all of us – we’ll get into what Uber knew and the steps they took to address this global phenomenon
    • We’ll also talk about the responsibility Uber has to drivers, especially when it comes to sick pay and unemployment

    Intro to Andrew Macdonald

    • Senior Vice President for Uber’s operations globally
    • Leading Uber’s cross-functional task force in response to the coronavirus pandemic
    • Prior to this role, served as Vice President for Uber’s American Operations and Global Business Development
    • Passionate about developing the entrepreneurship ecosystem and sits on the board for Rise asset development

    Uber’s Cross-functional Task Force in Response to the Coronavirus

    • First time we’ve ever dealt with something like this – like many companies
    • Being a global company, we had a preview of what was to come to the US
    • Late February, alarm bells started ringing – got a task force together and planned a response over 2 days
    • Made hundreds of decisions since then – one was encouraging riders to stay home, but knows that not every job can be ‘work from home’

    Uber’s Responsibility During Coronavirus

    • Platform safety was one of the key pillars to addressing this – rider/driver safety, delivery safety
    • Followed expert guidance from the beginning – clearly, the recommendation to avoid masks was a mistake
    • When PPE was recommended, Uber moved into supplying PPE – but ran into same supply chain logistics other companies (and hospitals) were running into
    • Did discuss shutting down service entirely – removed shared rides, front-seat passengers – did shut down in India in order to follow government decisions

    Biggest Change Since Coronavirus

    • Shutting down shared rides was huge
    • Mandating masks also a fundamental change
    • Masks probably the biggest political issue, especially since masks aren’t even required in every US state
    • Always looking at feedback from drivers on how to evolve the platform – it’s a balance

    Financial Assistance for Drivers

    • Change to the financial assistance program: covering more people/more situations but paying out less per driver
    • Had close to 50,000 people who’ve received financial assistance through the program globally
    • Governments across the world have stepped up to help all kinds of employees, doesn’t think the level of support that independent workers have received from the government is out of line with ICs contributions from a tax perspective
    • Advocated for governments to provide more protection for ICs – for those people who want the flexibility of independent work while also having similar protections so that during times like this, they’re not as vulnerable

    Outro

    • Big thanks to Andrew for coming on – there are a few things we didn’t get to talk about, like financial assistance and work hubs, but you can check out links to those resources below
    • Hope to have Andrew on again in the future – let me know what you’d like to see me cover or who’d you like me to interview in the comments below

    Show Notes

    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

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    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.

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