Following the resignation of Travis Kalanick as the chief executive officer of Uber, the search for his replacement has begun. The board of the ride-hailing company met with three directors who were recently appointed to discuss the search for a new CEO. It is understood that the board has given itself six weeks within which to have found a new chief executive. Observers are of the view that Kalanick’s replacement should be someone who will steer the ride-hailing firm away from problems, one of the things that Kalanick failed to do.
The search for a new Uber CEO is, however, not likely to be an easy one since Kalanick’s aggressive and controversial style of leadership has been given credit for the short time frame within which the scrappy startup was turned into a transportation and technology giant that is currently valued at over $50 billion. Shareholders as well as the company directors may therefore want to avoid fundamentally changing Uber’s success formula.
Some of the names being mentioned as likely successors to Travis Kalanick include personalities who have served in government as well as in public companies. This includes Sheryl Sandberg, the current chief operating officer of Facebook. Unlike Kalanick, Sandberg’s reputation contrasts sharply with that of the former Uber boss as she is regarded as one who offers steady leadership. She also has experience in government and this could come in handy since Uber has had constant run-ins with regulators and lawmakers. Prior to joining Facebook, Sandberg had worked under Larry Summers, who was then the U.S. Treasury Secretary. A source told New York Post that she would be the company’s top choice.
“Sheryl is seen as exactly what this company needs right now,” said the source.
According to people close to her though, she has no plans to quit Facebook now or in the near future.
The chief executive officer of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, is also being billed as a contender for the post of Uber CEO. The longtime Google employee has been leading YouTube since 2014 and was initially touted as a possible chief operating officer of Uber earlier on in the year when Kalanick admitted that he needed assistance.
Other personalities being considered for the top job at Uber include the former chief executive officer of Ford, Mark Fields; the former CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer; a former chief operating officer of Disney, Thomas Staggs; Alphabet’s chief financial officer, Ruth Porat and a former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx.