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A chance encounter led Charity to Uber

March 20 / Global

Charity Safford first heard about Uber when a then-country launcher walked into her office looking for the right partners to help launch the platform in Myanmar. Excited to build something new, she seized the opportunity, landed a regional management role, and the rest is history. 5 years and 3 roles later, Charity now leads customer support for Delivery in EMEA.

Tell us about your Uber career journey.

“One day, 15 years into a successful career at Telco, an Uber country launcher walked into my office. At the time, I was a Chief Marketing Officer in Myanmar, and the launcher was getting ready to bring Uber to the same market. She was looking for a launch partner, but I got so excited after hearing her pitch, I went home that night and started to search for jobs at Uber. 

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work with Uber across multiple businesses and countries. I’ve been a Regional General Manager, both in our Rides business in South East Asia, and in our Delivery business in Europe. Now in my most recent role, I’m responsible for Community Operations for Delivery in EMEA. With each role, I’ve had new opportunities, awesome new teams, and exciting new problems to solve.” 

Any advice for the next generation of leaders? 

“I’m amazed everyday by how smart my team is – a lot of them are next-generation leaders themselves. My advice is to invest in learning, be flexible about your path, and remember not to forget the people dimension, even if you want to work in tech. 

I see a lot of talent falling into the trap of “there is only one way to get me to my goal.” This can result in a loss of opportunities. If you look at my background, you’ll see a lot of diversity in what I did. That was not a path I carved out, it was me stepping in to fill business needs as they arose. That helped me make a mark in areas that were critical to the business at the time.

A good lesson to remember, even for me, is how important it is to nurture personal relationships in business. Do your best here, as folks will go a lot further out of their way to help people who are trying to build bridges.”

How would you describe Uber’s culture in EMEA?

“The culture at Uber is pretty cool. I’ve been lucky to experience that in a few different regions, and the people that make up our company always impress me. In the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a global project to design and roll out our new cultural values, and that’s been a real ride. I got to work with global teams to read every value, every definition, every word. Since then, I’ve led the global roll out of our values within Community Operations. I’ve helped teams around the world really understand them, and that’s been an amazing experience.

My favorite value is ‘see the forest and the trees’. It’s such a critical skill to master if you want to be successful at Uber. You need to know the details, but you also need to know which details really matter, and have the ability to take a step back and look at problems from a wider lens.”

What are the most interesting challenges you need to solve?

“Too many to name! I love that my team oversees opportunities to improve experience for eaters, couriers and merchants. That means there is never a dull moment and always an opportunity to make a big impact. Most of the opportunities involve cross-functional solution design, which is always fun.”

What’s your go-to Uber Eats order after a long week? 

“That’s got to be Mr. Sushi in Heemstede, Netherlands! For starters, it’s my family’s first choice for comfort food, and we order regularly. I love their Rainbow roll! Also worth noting, Tim (the owner) was kind enough to spend time with me walking me through his business, and the processes he uses to get support from Uber. It was a great experience, and led to some really strong insights on where we can lean in to improve the process for our merchants.”

Any tips for people looking to join Uber?

“Start by looking at roles that are available. If you need more intel, reach out to folks inside the business. That was my foot in the door. I worked up the courage to DM someone to help me in my process, and the rest is history. If the first role does not work out, be flexible. There are lots of opportunities!”

Interested in joining us? Explore open roles in Community Operations →