Lyft hired Liam O’Connor, who held top supply-chain jobs at Apple and Tesla, to lead the ride-hailing firm’s nascent bikes and scooters division, people familiar with the matter said. Under Mr. O’Connor, who started the job in recent weeks, Lyft plans to design its own e-scooters and e-bikes from the ground up, rather than use off-the-shelf models manufactured by scooter-maker Segway-Ninebot and e-bike-maker GenZe, the people said. Before leaving in September, Mr. O’Connor spent about four years each at Tesla and Apple, where he was tasked with setting up effective supply chain relationships. Lyft declined to comment on his hiring.
Lyft’s bikes and scooters team is still taking shape in part because its July deal to buy the U.S. bike-share leader, Motivate, still hasn’t closed. The acquisition is expected to be final before the end of the year, the people said. Meanwhile, Lyft has also rolled out small scooter fleets in Washington, D.C., Denver and Santa Monica, Calif. The other questions facing Mr. O’Connor include: Does Lyft have a unique vision for bikes and scooters, or is it just joining the fray? How will it keep bikes and scooters charged and maintained without burning too much cash before its IPO? Can it launch e-bikes in cities around the country, augmenting its pedal-bike fleet?