How Lyft’s new CEO David Risher could earn a $1B payday

This do-gooder is in the driver’s seat to do very well for himself.

David Risher — who has spent the past 14 years running a book-focused charity for kids — has been tapped as the next CEO of ride-sharing giant Lyft — and he’s been awarded a trove of stock options that could be worth as much as $1 billion.

Granted, for Risher to achieve that staggering payout would require a Herculean task: pump Lyft stock more than 770% to $80 a share from its current value of $9 per share.

At $80, his 12.25 million performance-based restricted stock units would be worth $980 million. 

In an environment where Lyft — with a market cap of $3.4 billion — is consistently losing in a war with Uber — which has a market cap of around $63 billion  — market watchers are doubtful whether he’ll be able to collect his winnings.

Indeed, Risher seems an odd choice to pull off a turn-around — he’s been running a charity that helps children access digital books, Worldreader, since 2009.

He’s been on the Lyft board since 2021.

David Risher has been tapped as the next CEO of Lyft.

But others say it’s a win-win situation.

“You get someone highly valued in the marketplace — who’s worked at Microsoft and Amazon and you don’t have to pay much out of pocket,” VerityvDirector of Research Ben Silverman told On The Money.

Risher is making a salary of $725,000 per year.

In the 1990s Risher managed a database product launch at Microsoft from 1991 to 1997 and worked as a senior vice president of marketing and merchandising at Amazon from 1997 to 2021, according to his LinkedIn page.

For Risher, the vesting schedule is broken into nine tranches, each vesting separately as LYFT price hurdles from $15.00 to $80.00.

Risher is taking it one step at a time.

“I think for a lot of people, Lyft has gone from top of mind to a little bit on the side, so it’s our job to remind people we exist,” Risher said in an interview with TechCrunch.

While hitting $80 per share seems aspirational, it does show that “expectations have come down,” Silverman adds, noting that Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer got options in 2021 and 2022 which only vest if LYFT hits or exceeds $100.00.”

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