The cab hailing company, Uber announced on Tuesday that it will introduce tipping for drivers, something the company has strongly objected to in the past. In what could amount to a rare piece of good publicity, the $68 billion startup has been roiled by a series of crises in recent months, ranging from sexual harassment allegations to an executive exodus, to a video surfacing of CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with his Uber driver.
The move could be part of its cleanup effort; On Tuesday, Uber launched a campaign called "180 Days of Change," pledging to make improvements for the next six months. The first set of changes had to do with driver earnings, and at the top of that list was the option for tipping. Drivers in Seattle, Houston and Minneapolis will get to enable the feature first - but the company said it would roll it out across the US by the end of next month and well as International drivers will be able to use the feature soon.
The move brings Uber in line with its main competitor, Lyft. Lyft recently said it had paid out more than $250m in tips to its drivers.
The post comes after CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down from his CEO duties indefinitely. Kalanick was on a leave of absence. He is also mourning the loss of his mother, who tragically passed away in a boating accident last month. Travis came under pressure to exit after hours of tension involving the app’s investors. Five major investors demanded that Travis resign immediately, these included one of Uber’s biggest shareholders – venture capital firm Benchmark, whose partner Bill Gurley is on Uber’s board.
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