Lyft just made a big hire. The San Francisco ride-hailing company, which is known for its pink mustache logo and status as the biggest competitor to Uber, has a new chief operating officer -- and he comes from Amazon. Rex Tibbens was formerly vice president of Amazon’s logistics division in North America. In his new role at Lyft, Tibbens will be in charge of scaling up the company’s operations, the New York Times reports.
Lyft has yet to expand beyond the United States -- unlike Uber, which has faced legal battle, after public relations disaster, after protest overseas. While at Amazon, Tibbens led the development of Prime Now, a one-hour delivery service in cities. However, it’s only being tested in the U.S.
In an interview with the Times, Tibbens shared that his focus will also be to ensure that Lyft stands out from its competitors. “To me, Lyft is about two key experiences: the passenger experience and the driver experience,” Tibbens told the Times. “How do we create an experience for both of them that’s very differentiated from other companies?”
Customer service improvements, especially enhanced by technology, are an aspect that Tibbens is familiar with from his work at Amazon. He led the development of instant video chat with Amazon customer service representatives through Kindle Fire.
Lyft has portrayed itself as the friendlier alternative to Uber. Most recently, the company introduced user profiles. Lyft also uses the same app interface for both the driver and the passenger.
Tibbens is replacing Lyft’s former chief operating officer, Travis VanderZanden, who left the company in August 2014 and later joined Uber. Lyft filed litigation against VanderZanden for breaching a confidentiality agreement.