Lyft appoints David Risher as CEO amid leadership transition; analyst reactions mixed

March 27, 2023 5:20 PM EDT
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(Updated - March 28, 2023 6:30 AM EDT) -- Lyft appointed Monday board member David Risher as its chief executive officer, succeeding co-founder Logan Green who will step back from managing the company, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Green alongside co-founder John Zimmer, will transition from their full-time executive management positions into non-executive roles as chair and vice chair of the board from April 17, and June 30, respectively.

Risher, who previously served as Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) first head of product and head of U.S. retail — and a general manager at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) — before co-founding Worldreader, is set to take the helm at the ride-sharing company amid a tough competitive environment.

“The macroeconomy is tough and the world is full of some uncertainty and that’s a real factor for sure and, then, when you zoom in one click, the competitive environment is tough. We have a very aggressive—very aggressive—competitor,” Mr. Risher said in an interview, the WSJ reported.

The company expects to report its Q1 2023 results in early May.

LYFT (NASDAQ: LYFT) shares are trading 6% higher on the news in pre-market trading.

Despite a positive stock reaction, RBC analyst Brad Erickson says he would like to see "harder evidence of the company shoring up the apparent structural headwinds before getting more constructive on the name."

On the other hand, BofA analyst Michael McGovern is more positive as he believes the new CEO "should bring a fresh, customer-focused perspective."

"[The] news should provide some boost to already low levels of sentiment for Lyft, as post-COVID share losses to Uber have raised some concerns on the strategic direction... We maintain our Underperform rating on Lyft, but we think today’s mgmt change will be viewed positively as a fresh, customer-focused perspective can bring about needed change to maintain competitive balance vs. Uber."

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