I have decided not to pursue leadership position at Uber: Jeff Immelt
- Author: Eleanor Harrison Aug 30, 2017,
Aug 30, 2017, 1:44
The move comes after a weekend of frantic meetings with two other final candidates, Meg Whitman, chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprises, and Jeff Immelt, the departing chairman of GE. "I've decided not to pursue a leadership position at Uber", Immelt said.
The Expedia CEO is set to succeed co-founder Travis Kalanick, who grew Uber into a $20 billion annual booking business past year, only to resign as CEO in June under investor pressure.
The Times noted discussions over Whitman's possible reconsideration of her decision to exit the process involved "what role Mr. Kalanick, who holds a board seat, would play in Uber's future", while Recode noted one factor which spooked some board members on Immelt was the possibility he was too close to Kalanick. Uber and Expedia didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Khosrowshahi, who has run Expedia for 12 years, was not known to the public to be among the top candidates for the job. She's now CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Khosrowshahi has headed up Expedia since 2005, after serving as the chief financial officer of IAC for seven years.
Khosrowshahi has certainly done well for himself - in 2015 he was the highest paid CEO in the country, mainly because of a almost $91 million stock option grant. After Whitman was chased away, Kalanick reportedly told several people that he was "Steve Jobs-ing it", a reference to how the Apple co-founder was ousted from his company but later returned to lead it.
Last week, Uber said its sales reached $1.75 billion in the second quarter, up 17% from the previous quarter. She tweeted at the end of July that: "The next Uber CEO will not be Meg Whitman".
Uber has chosen Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi to be its chief executive, ending months of speculation in the firm's search for a new leader. Should Benchmark prevails in its suit, it could curtail Kalanick's involvement with the company and remove him from the board altogether. That committee is trying to change the company's culture so it's better behaved, a hard task without a top leader. However, it came to a pass earlier this month when Uber's key investor filed a lawsuit against Kalanick and demanded that the former CEO be removed the company's board altogether due to corporate governance issues. The investors at Benchmark are anxious that Immelt might be too eager to please Kalanick and would give the ousted CEO too much power.