Published: Wed, August 30, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Jeff Immelt bows out of consideration for Uber CEO job

Jeff Immelt bows out of consideration for Uber CEO job

"I have decided not to pursue a leadership position at Uber", Immelt wrote in a Twitter post on Sunday.

He would replace former CEO Travis Kalanick, who was forced to step down in June following a tiff with a shareholder. The company is now on the lookout for a new CEO and Benchmark feels that the presence of certain board members, thought to be Kalanick's acolytes, will hamper the whole exercise.

Uber's board said it would review his responsibilities and reassign some to others and continue its search for a chief operating officer with a background in diversity and inclusion.

Supposedly, Uber is anxious not just about criticism of Immelt's time at GE (his performance there was mixed), but also former CEO Travis Kalanick's eagerness to have Immelt take his old position.

The Iranian-American businessman came to the United States as a child in 1978 with his parents following the Iranian Revolution.

Mr Khosrowshahi has been CEO of Expedia since August of 2015. Mr Kalanick resigned after a series of scandals including a report exposing sexual harassment at the company.

Earnings figures first reported at news website Axios and confirmed by AFP showed that adjusted net revenue at Uber was $1.75 billion in the second quarter, more than doubling from about $800 million (roughly Rs. 5,125 crores) in the same period in 2016.

The San Francisco-based company's adjusted net loss fell almost 14 percent to $645 million from the same quarter previous year, Uber confirmed.

Meg Whitman, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief executive, is still being considered, according to people familiar with the matter, despite her earlier public statements that she would not be Uber's next chief executive. That committee is trying to change the company's culture so it's better behaved, a hard task without a top leader.

Kalanick - who had been the driving force behind Uber's massive global expansion, but whose brash style had made him a liability - still holds a large voting stake in the company.

Uber was valued at $68 billion at its most recent investment a year ago, but recently some mutual funds have written down the value of their Uber investment by as much as 15 percent, a sign of wavering confidence in the company. The investors at Benchmark are anxious that Immelt might be too eager to please Kalanick and would give the ousted CEO too much power. (In one infamous episode that was caught on video earlier this year, Kalanick unloaded onto an Uber driver who criticised the company's wages).

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