'I won't be perfect, but I will listen to you.' Uber CEO outlines the company's 'enormous' opportunity while acknowledging its turbulent past in letter to investors

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  • Uber’s S-1 filing included a letter from CEO Dara Khosrowshahi outlining his commitment to the company and the big opportunities that lie ahead.
  • He also acknowledged the company’s rocky past, saying that there were some “missteps” along the way.
  • Khosrowshahi closed the note by promising his commitment to running Uber with “passion, humility, and integrity.”

Ride-hailing giant Uber is officially going public. The company revealed its plans for an initial public offering nearly two weeks after rival Lyft hit the public market on March 29.

In the company’s S-1 filing on Thursday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi published a letter outlining the “enormous” opportunity he sees for Uber in the future. “Just a small percentage of people in countries where Uber is available have ever used our services,” he wrote. “And we are still barely scratching the surface when it comes to huge industries like food and logistics, and how the future of urban mobility will reshape cities for the better.”

But he also didn’t shy away from Uber’s rocky past, and the circumstances that led to his tenure as CEO.

“Of course, in getting from Point A to Point B, we didn’t get everything right,” he wrote. “Some of the attributes that made Uber a wildly successful startup – a fierce sense of entrepreneurialism, our willingness to take risks that others might not, and that famous Uber hustle – led to missteps along the way.”

Khosrowshahi was tapped to lead the company in August 2017 after founder Travis Kalanick resigned from his CEO position that year. Kalanick’s resignation came after the company was rocked by a series of scandals in 2017 ignited by a blog post from a former engineer detailing a toxic work environment at the company. During that same year, Google parent Alphabet also filed a lawsuit against Uber claiming that the company stole information related to its-self driving car division. A video of Kalanick yelling at an Uber driver also surfaced in 2017. A series of high-profile executives also departed the company around that time period, including former president of the company Jeff Jones and head of finance Gautam Gupta.

“In fact, when I joined Uber as CEO, many people asked me why I would leave the stability of my previous job for one that was anything but,” Khosrowshahi wrote. “My answer was simple: Uber is a once-in-a-generation company, and the opportunity ahead of it is enormous.”

See below for Khosrowshahi’s letter in full.

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