Meta Platforms, Facebook’s freshly-minted parent company, named DoorDash co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Tony Xu to its board of directors on Tuesday.
In a news release, Mark Zuckerberg described Xu as “a great tech leader” who “has direct experience in both running a tech company and solving complex challenges in commerce.”
“Tony has built a great service for millions of people to get food and more from hundreds of thousands of restaurants and small businesses,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I look forward to learning from his perspective as we build towards the metaverse.”
Xu, 37, co-founded DoorDash as an MBA student at Stanford University in May 2013. In the third quarter of 2021, the food delivery platform generated $1.28 billion in revenue, marking the third consecutive quarter it surpassed a billion-dollar milestone, according to The Motley Fool.
Xu grew up working as a dishwasher for his mother’s restaurant after their family immigrated to the U.S., according to Vox. His mother was a physician in China, but her license was not recognized when they moved.
Xu described his parents’ journey as a “classic immigrant story” in a 2021 interview with the South China Morning Post. Growing up, he did not see them often because they were working multiple jobs.
Their sacrifice helped him obtain a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of California, Berkeley. He then went to Stanford, where he obtained an MBA and conceived the idea of DoorDash with his classmates.
It was in his days at the restaurant that the idea of streamlining food deliveries first struck Xu.
“We started the company [DoorDash] wanting to help people like her [his mother], and we went to different businesses in the Bay Area, whether they were restaurants or cake shops or retailers, and a few of them would tell us how they would turn down 10 to 15 delivery orders a week, which was just absurd,” Xu told Vox in 2019.
“It’s not like delivery hasn’t been done before, but in their defense, why is it that 99% of businesses don’t deliver? Why is it that 85% of restaurants don’t deliver?”
To find out more about food delivery, Xu and his partners worked as delivery drivers for Domino’s Pizza and FedEx in the early days of DoorDash.
“We learned a couple of interesting observations. It was really hard for a small business to know how many drivers they need. They couldn’t deal with special events like a football game or Valentine’s Day,” Xu told Founders podcast creator David Senra in 2018.
Xu now has an estimated net worth of $2 billion, according to his Forbes profile. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 he was named the highest-paid CEO in the Bay Area, earning $413 million in compensation, SFGATE reported.
Xu’s addition to the Meta board brings its total members to 10. This is the first board change since Facebook’s rebranding in October, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Millions of local merchants use Meta’s tools to grow and run their businesses every month,” Xu said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the board as the company enters the next stage of its journey.”
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