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Jason Droege, the head of the Uber Eats business, unexpectedly stepped down after running Uber’s food-delivery business since its 2014 inception. He will be succeeded by Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s vice president of international rides, who has been with the company since 2012. The change is effective immediately and Droege will be available until June to help with the transition, according to the company.
The move comes as the company pursues an accelerated timeline for profitable growth. Uber has been under pressure from investors to stem its enormous losses, which totaled $8.5 billion in 2019. The company had set 2021 as a target for its first profitable year. However, in a call with investors Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the company was aiming to be profitable, on an adjusted basis, by the end of 2020.
Khosrowshahi announced an aggressive cost-cutting plan at Uber Eats last year. While the food-delivery business has grown into one of the company’s more profitable divisions with revenue of $734 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, the unit also posted losses of $461 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization during the period. As part of the plan, the company will exit any market in which it operates if it isn’t one of the top two food-delivery services in the market. Last month, Uber agreed to sell its Indian food-delivery unit to local competitor Zomato. Last year the company also discontinued food-delivery operations in Vienna and South Korea.
“As Eats moves into its next phase of more profitable growth, I am happy to have Pierre at the helm, and look forward to him applying his nearly eight years of experience with our Rides business to capture the many opportunities that lie ahead for Eats,” Khosrowshahi said in a company filing.