TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot went undercover as an errand-runner and had to clean someone’s dirty apartment


TaskRabbit Stacy Brown-Philpot

  • TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot is an icon in Silicon Valley as a former Googler, as well as a board member at Nordstrom and HP.
  • She’s been with TaskRabbit since 2013. She came on as COO, and was promoted to CEO in 2016. TaskRabbit was purchased by Ikea in late 2017.
  • To better understand her company, which allows people to hire others to do a variety of tasks and errands, she did the responsible thing and went undercover.
  • She recently shared a funny story of showing up to clean a stranger’s house.

The execs at so-called “gig economy” companies — those companies making apps that let one person hire another to, say, drive you around, or put you up for the night — sometimes go undercover as workers on their own platforms. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi briefly drove an Uber; Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky used to be a host himself.

And Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO of TaskRabbit, says she was once hired as a “tasker” too. She took a job to clean someone’s apartment and found it to be “stressful,” she said on stage at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado on Tuesday.

Not only did she have to clean the apartment in two hours — including a surprisingly dirty oven that she didn’t know about until she opened it — but the task was for someone who was moving out “and had to get their deposit back.”

So she felt pressure because the customer had “money on the line.”

She never told the customer that she was the undercover CEO. But she did rise to the challenge.

“He got his deposit back,” she proudly said.

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