Uber in 2024: From Industry Disruption to Creating Value For All Stakeholders

By Robert Burgelman, Raj Joshi
2024 | Case No. SM383 | Length 17 pgs.

Dara Khosrowshahi became the CEO of Uber in August 2017, following internal turbulence and serious headwinds related to the company’s governance and reputation. Five short years later, Uber was clearly back on course, building on the success of its technology platform to reach 150 million monthly active platform users—and a market cap of $125 billion by the end of 2023.

This case study traces the remarkable transformation of Uber from its early innovation as a ride-hailing pioneer in a handful of cities, to the global expansion of Uber mobility services that required close attention to local operational and regulatory practices, to solving the complex technical challenges to drive Uber’s food delivery services forward. Interviews with Uber leadership reveals the strategic approach to work on the engineering, data science, product management, and product design challenges involved in building and maintaining a customer-friendly app and create an optimized user experience—and scale this on a global basis while factoring in local conditions and practices.

Key to this success was a culture reboot within Uber, and a renewed focus on collaboration and value creation for all stakeholders. The company that had found its initial footing by disrupting and transforming the taxi industry, more than a decade earlier, now faced a future where artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles would likely disrupt the mobility sector once again—but Uber was preparing intensively for what the future might bring.

Learning Objective

This case study helps students understand how enterprise software businesses must continue to adapt and evolve, even in the case of a successful start-up with a proven disruption model, to create value for a diverse set of stakeholders. Students discuss the evolution of Uber to think about how a company can evaluate the need for scope expansions and course corrections, and then pivot towards new successes.
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