In this week’s roundup, senior RSG contributor John Ince covers initial Uber earnings news, plus a former Uber exec sentenced to prison for stealing from Google and more below.
Uber’s Delivery Business Overtakes Rides: [NY Times]
Sum and Substance: Uber reports steep revenue decline, as delivery outpaces ride hailing.
Uber’s revenue decline in the second quarter was the steepest since it went public in May 2019.
My Take: I don’t like these numbers. Uber is still looking at a $1.8 billion loss – similar to the figure in the last quarter. At this rate Uber has maybe a year’s worth of burn.
Uber and Lyft sued for ‘unpaid wages’ by California Labor Commissioner over driver classification [Mercury News]
Sum and Substance: California opened a new front in its battle against Uber and Lyft over their classification of drivers as contractors instead of employees, with the state’s labor commissioner on Wednesday filing suit against the two companies.
The San Francisco ride-hailing firms decided from the start of their operations to “misclassify” their drivers “as a means of unlawfully depriving these workers of a host of statutory protections applicable to employees, in direct contravention of California law,” according to the separate but nearly identical lawsuits filed in state court in Alameda County claimed.
My Take: Well, this leaves little doubt how California feels about its two home grown companies. With this suit, the Labor Secretary joins in the chorus. It’s going to come down to the ballot initiative this fall.
Former Uber self-driving car exec sentenced to 18 months in prison [CNNBusiness]
Sum and Substance: Anthony Levandowski, a former Uber executive who oversaw its self-driving vehicle efforts, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Tuesday for stealing an internal tracking document from Google related to its self-driving car program.
“This is the biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen. This was not small. This was massive in scale,” said US District Judge William Alsup in sentencing Levandowski on one count of trade secret theft, according to a Department of Justice press release.
My Take: Now this is a serious crime. 18 months doesn’t sound like a lot – and with time off for this and that it’ll be gone in no time. And it doesn’t start yet – because of the pandemic. He got off good.
Readers, what do you think of this week’s roundup?
-John @ RSG