Uber financial services leader Peter Hazlehurst
has stepped down from his position as the rideshare company has put its plan to start a digital wallet on hold, Bloomberg
The company is instead focused more on ridesharing and food delivery instead of the planned financial expansions.
In an email, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
said the company isn’t prioritizing several finance-related projects, such as credit cards, a digital wallet and instant payments for drivers. He said he understood “Peter’s decision to pursue something more aligned with his passion and initial ambitions,” Bloomberg reported.
Hazlehurst had taken pride in the digital wallet idea. In an email last year, he talked about his plan at the annual Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas, calling it “without a doubt, the highlight of my career.” Following up on that in an interview later, he added that if Uber isn’t “going crazy big on these products, then I should get out of the way,” Bloomberg reported.
That seems to be what happened; the team hired to work on financial services now putting energy into Uber Eats.
The digital wallet, called Uber Cash
, launched in September 2018, letting users put their money into an account on the Uber app to easily pay for the company’s services such as Uber Eats or bike sharing with JUMP bikes. The program also aimed to integrate Uber’s gift cards and value deals.
Rob Daniel, lead of financial products at Uber, was hesitant to call it a mobile wallet, saying its intent was merely to offer people an easier way to pay for Uber’s services and better plan out their spending through the platform.
With Hazlehurst departed, Khosrowshahi said Uber Money employees will now be reporting to Peeyush Nahar, vice president of technology, Bloomberg reported.
During the pandemic, Uber has seen its primary ride-hailing business decline by as much as 70 percent as people stay inside, and the company laid off 25 percent of its workforce.