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Ex-Uber Exec Talks Company's Roots, Path To Profitability

Jayson Derrick

Soon-to-be-public ride-hailing company Uber had to earn its "place at the table" after multiple cities worldwide blocked the company from conducting business, the company's former chief business officer and senior vice president Emil Michael told CNBC Monday.

What Happened

Uber felt it necessary to "foster the power of the people," who demanded that the transportation industry be democratized, Michael said during CNBC's "Squawk Box" segment. During its infant stages, Uber's team felt the company should be a "platform for urban logistics" and rushed to introduce new services worldwide, like Uber Eats, the former exec said.

The ultimate plan is for Uber to offer a multitude of services in a model similar to Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)'s Google and its services like Google Maps and Gmail, he said. 

Why It's Important

As important geographic expansion and revenue growth are, Uber's operating losses totaled $4 billion in 2017 and $3 billion in 2018, according to CNBC. 

Profitability is possible as Uber improves economies of scale and reduces fixed costs as more users take advantage of its multiple services, Michael said.

Uber is believed to be "making good money" in some large global cities like London due to a lack of large-scale competitors, he said.

"I see a path to profitability soon." 

What's Next

As an Uber shareholder, Michael said he continues to "believe in the long-term value" of the company.

Despite being able to sell his shares after the post-IPO lock-up period expires, Michael said he plans on holding onto his stake in the ride-hailing company. 

Related Links:

Uber Unveils Long-Awaited IPO, Expected To Reach 0 Billion Valuation

Analyst: Uber Roadshow A 'Dark Shadow' Over Lyft

Photo courtesy of Uber. 

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