Lyft, Inc. (Nasdaq: LYFT) announced that the company’s co-founders, Logan Green (chief executive officer) and John Zimmer (president) have decided to transition from their full-time executive management positions into non-executive roles as chair and vice chair of the Lyft board, effective April 17, 2023 and June 30, 2023, respectively.
David Risher, a seasoned technology executive who previously served as Amazon’s first head of product and head of U.S. retail — and a general manager at Microsoft — before co-founding Worldreader, will become chief executive officer on April 17. As the 37th employee of Amazon, David helped lead the company from an online bookstore with $15M in annual sales to the “everything store” with over $4B in sales. In tribute to Mr. Risher’s contributions, Jeff Bezos added a permanent thank-you to the Amazon website, where it can still be seen today. Mr. Risher, who joined the Lyft board of directors in July 2021, will have full leadership responsibilities for the company’s operations. Mr. Risher’s selection follows a thorough search process conducted by the Lyft board with the assistance of a leading executive search firm.
In their respective board and adviser roles, Messrs. Green and Zimmer will focus on supporting a seamless transition of responsibilities to Mr. Risher and the continued growth of Lyft’s mission. Sean Aggarwal, current Lyft board chair, will transition to the role of lead independent director.
“Building Lyft with John over the last 16 years has been the adventure of a lifetime,” said Mr. Green. “Billions of rides later, our industry is defined by the model of ridesharing that Lyft pioneered. All founders eventually find the right moment to step back and the right leaders to take their company forward. In a field of accomplished candidates, David stood head and shoulders above the rest. As a member of the board, he knows both the challenges and opportunities ahead. David has the right energy, ambition, and experience to lead Lyft into the future. Leaders in our industry who worked with David affirmed that he’s a customer-obsessed leader who drives hard — when David left Amazon, Jeff Bezos publicly thanked him, vowing to ‘build on the foundation you helped pour.’ David is the absolute right person to build on our foundation.”
Mr. Zimmer commented, “Logan and I were told we were crazy to think people would share a ride in another person’s car. Over a decade later, Lyft is creating economic opportunity, building a sustainable future, and helping people make meaningful connections — with the support of millions of riders and drivers. I can’t wait for what’s next, and look forward to working with our deeply-capable successor, David, to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.”
Mr. Risher commented, “When the search committee asked me to consider this role, at first I was gobsmacked, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the competitive spirit I learned at Microsoft, the customer obsession I learned at Amazon, and the do-more-with-less lessons I learned leading Worldreader are exactly what Lyft needs right now. I am honored to step into the CEO role at such an important moment in the company’s history, and am prepared to take this business to new levels of success.”
“The Lyft board, including Logan and John, has always considered leadership succession to be one of our most important mandates,” said Mr. Aggarwal. “David is a legendary tech visionary with a well-deserved reputation as a relentless operator. David knows Lyft’s strengths and weaknesses, and he has a clear vision for the future of Lyft. I know he will capitalize on the significant opportunities we have for long-term profitable growth.
Mr. Aggarwal continued, “On behalf of the board and everyone else at Lyft, I want to thank Logan and John for everything they have done to build Lyft. They worked tirelessly to create the company that pioneered the rideshare industry. Today, one in three people across the country has taken a Lyft and Lyft drivers have earned tens of billions of dollars. Logan and John have poured their hearts and souls into building this company, culture, and community, and I appreciate the hard decision to step back from a place they love so much. I look forward to serving alongside them as members of the Lyft board.”