The venture-funded, on demand car request service Uber has been working on an expansion into New Orleans, news that was heard around the city in November 2013. As the transportation network company expands to new cities, the need for talented, entrepreneurial-minded hires does as well.
Uber has hired Tom Hayes as General Manager for New Orleans following an extremely comprehensive hiring process, “where Uber had the chance to understand my background very well and I had the opportunity to learn a lot about the company.”
Hayes is a Teach for America alum and education entrepreneur with experience in both management roles and an executive role after he founded his own education technology company nearly two years ago.
When asked why he decided to apply in the first place, Hayes said he said he began thinking of what his next move would be professionally and noted that at the top of his list was the desire to do something that would have a significant impact on New Orleans. “I moved to New Orleans just prior to Katrina to teach and after going through the rebuilding process with the city, I fell in love with this place and have become indelibly intertwined with it. Thus, the opportunity to work in technology, a field I’m very excited about, and bring a much needed service to the city seemed like the perfect opportunity.”
Uber has set up offices in the 4.0 Schools space, located in a newly expanded suite in the IP Building, which is known as one of the startup hubs in New Orleans.
The Hayes says the role has been great so far: “Probably the most exciting part has been hearing enthusiasm from the community about our technology. Support has been pouring in from business and community leaders, residents and pretty much anyone else that wants competition and choice in their transportation options.“
Once launched, Hayes will be more focused on the day to day of operations and growth of the business. He is currently in the process of hiring a community manager and an operations and logistics manager to help get the car-for-hire service off the ground in New Orleans.
Hayes said Uber has had tremendous interest in the positions to date and he is excited by the individuals that have come through the hiring process. The company is looking closely at the applicants that can hustle and hopes to find the most talented people out there who are interested in launching from the ground up.
Although Uber has received backlash from the local government and taxi companies in many cities, New Orleans was the first to issue a cease and desist letter from the city prior to even operating. However, Hayes says, the company has found that once public officials see the demand for our technology they’re quick to support.
“Launching Uber will give consumers a great alternative to existing options in the city,” said Hayes. “We have heard from so many people that they frequently experience unreliable service or extremely long wait times when requesting a pick-up from existing providers. Our technology is designed to overcome those inefficiencies so we expect to offer the most reliable and safest ride out there.”
Many have also said that accepting Uber into the New Orleans community shows that the city is open for business, even if not a traditional one for the area.
Uber is currently working with the community and stakeholders to launch. Hayes is confident that the long process will result in the company being able to start operations soon.