- Lyft COO Jon McNeill is reported to be leaving the company.
- McNeill came to Lyft from Tesla, but is said to be leaving after less than 18 months on the job.
- Lyft stock dropped some 2% in the wake of the initial report and subsequent confirmation.
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Lyft’s chief operating officer, Jon McNeill, has departed the ride-hailing company after just 18 months on the job, Lyft said Tuesday.
Lyft’s stock price closed down 2.27% Monday following the news of McNeill’s departure.
Lyft hired McNeill from Tesla in February 2018, where he was head of sales and service. Tesla sales doubled during McNeill’s time at the company, Lyft wrote in McNeill’s job announcement, and he was a key deputy to CEO Elon Musk.
There won’t be a replacement for McNeill, Lyft executives said in an email to staff, Bloomberg reported. Instead, McNeill’s day-to-day duties will be divided up between current employees.
At Lyft, McNeill played a key role in driver programs, including the increasingly important Express Drive initiative, which allows drivers to rent a vehicle and use it to give rides on the Lyft app. In markets like New York, the US’s most important ride-hailing city, renting is one of the few ways new drivers can take up working for Lyft.
The loss of McNeill is bad news for the company, JPMorgan said.
“We believe McNeill’s departure, after only 18 months, is a negative for Lyft,” analyst Doug Anmuth said in a note to clients. “We believe McNeill was widely viewed as an important figure at Lyft given his automotive expertise and industry experience.”
“Still, we believe Lyft shares remain attractive and that the company’s singular focus on transportation and emphasis on product innovation will drive further share gains in the industry,” JPMorgan continued.
Lyft went public in March 2019 at a $US24 billion valuation. Despite some volatility in the immediate wake of its IPO, Lyft stock is up some 5% overall in the last three months.
Lyft declined to comment.