John Zimmer

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John Zimmer
Zimmer at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY in 2015
Born (1984-03-14) March 14, 1984 (age 40)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materCornell University School of Hotel Administration
Occupation(s)Co-founder and President of Lyft
PartnerCristina García Rivas

John Zimmer is the co-founder and former president of Lyft, an on-demand transportation company,[1] which he founded with Logan Green in 2012.[2]

In March 2023, Zimmer announced that in June he would step down as Lyft president and become vice-chair of the board of directors.[3]

Early life[edit]

Zimmer grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut.[4] In 2006, Zimmer graduated from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration where he was a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity.[5] After graduation, Zimmer worked as an analyst in real estate finance at Lehman Brothers in New York City.

Zimmer left Lehman Brothers three months before it declared bankruptcy.[6] In 2007, while Zimmer was working at Lehman Brothers, he and Logan Green founded Zimride, a ridesharing platform across college campuses.[7]


While at Cornell, Zimmer was inspired to develop a rideshare program by filling the empty seats he had during his rides home over school breaks.[8] Logan Green had also been thinking along those lines and had started "Zimride".[9][10] Zimride launched the first version of its rideshare program at Cornell University where, after six months, the service had signed up 20% of the student body.[11][12] Later in 2007, Zimride was active on both the Cornell and UCSB campuses.[13]

Zimmer quit his job at Lehman Brothers to work with Green full-time on Zimride.[11] Green and Zimmer focused the service on carpooling between connected users and making carpooling fun and interesting.[14] By April 2012, the company was renamed Lyft and had raised $7.5 million in funding and was active at over 125 universities.[9][10][15]


After leaving his job at Lehman Brothers, Zimmer moved to Silicon Valley with Green to work on Zimride full-time.[16] Lyft was launched in the summer of 2012 as a service of Zimride,[17][18] before Zimmer and Green officially changed the name of the company from Zimride to Lyft. Zimmer did not take a salary during the first three years of Lyft's operation, and he and Green worked on the company out of an apartment they shared.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Zimmer is married. He met his wife while studying abroad in Seville, Spain;[19] they have a daughter.[20]


  1. ^ "LA Looks to Rideshare to Build the Future of Public Transit". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  2. ^ Lawler, Ryan. Lyft-Off: Zimride's Long Road To Overnight Success. TechCrunch. August 29, 2014.
  3. ^ Lyft's Co-Founders to Step Down as Company Struggles
  4. ^ Bryant, Adam (2017-07-21). "Lyft's John Zimmer on Empowering Others to Help Them Grow". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  5. ^ "Need a Lyft" (PDF). The Emerald of Sigma Pi. Vol. 99, no. 2. Summer 2015. p. 6.
  6. ^ Shontell, Alyson; Lebowitz, Shana (18 October 2017). "Lyft's cofounders met on Facebook and lived on opposite coasts – here's how they launched a $7.5 billion startup long-distance". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Zimride offers college students cheap, safe rides home". The Washington Post. 2011-12-31. Archived from the original on 2019-03-29.
  8. ^ Shaughnessy, Haydn. How to Win Friends AND Cut your Travel Costs. Forbes. November 18, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Cohen, Deborah. Former Lehman's banker drives startup Zimride. Reuters. September 15, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Shah, Semil. Why Zimride's John Zimmer Left Wall Street to Start a Company. TechCrunch. April 19, 2012.
  11. ^ a b Sullivan, Colin. Startup Bets that Social Networking Will Spur Carpool Craze. New York Times. July 29, 2009.
  12. ^ Schomer, Stephanie. Zimride: Carpooling for College Students Archived 2012-06-15 at the Wayback Machine. Fast Company. January 5, 2011.
  13. ^ Booking a ride in someone else's car. Smart Planet. April 9, 2012.
  14. ^ Kwan, Connie. Zimride's John Zimmer. Triple Pundit. November 1, 2010.
  15. ^ Takahashi, Dean. Zimride raises $6M for ride-sharing car service. VentureBeat. September 21, 2011.
  16. ^ a b "Lyft is now worth $11 billion – its founder reveals how he went from taking no salary for 3 years to running a giant startup". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  17. ^ "How Lyft Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Pivot". Archived from the original on 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2014-10-08.
  18. ^ "Lyft team gets $60M more; now it must prove ride-sharing can go global". 23 May 2013. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  19. ^ "15 questions with John Zimmer". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  20. ^ "A New Year's Eve Ride With Lyft Co-Founder John Zimmer". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-03-31.

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