Travis Kalanick was thrown out in a boardroom coup by Uber’s earliest investors. Now, this giant of ride-sharing requires a new CEO, besides the other positions of a new CFO and COO.
Actually the coup has Bill Gurley and David Bonderman, longtime board members and was casualties. They will be soon replaced by Matt Cohler and David Trujillo. This change itself is the first step to Uber culture turnaround and will permit new relationship to bud. Travis Kalanick maintained majority rights of voting and will pursue as the board chairman, it is of important consideration. for the board to resume to normal functioning the feuds need to subside.
The next CEO needs to navigate a business, political and legal minefield: There are multiple fires at the executive level, requiring immediate addressing. First, the toxic internal culture allowing sexual harassment needs reformation and that must begin at the top. Second, Uber is bleeding money besides its large revenues. Thus, gross profitability is attainable, but requires an experienced hand to keep costs under control.
Third, Uber needs to IPO soon. Bill Gurley is agitating for years, but an IPO cannot take place until costs are under control. There is the Waymo lawsuit. If anything goes wrong beyond Anthony Lewandowski, it must be clarified who was responsible. Whatever it is, IP from Waymo will be excised from the company on any party to any theft and fast. If Uber has to show chances at a successful autonomous vehicle program, it should not be weighed down for years by lawsuits.
Ruth Porat is the solution to this conundrum. She has two years as the CFO of Alphabet, imposing cost controls on Larry and Sergey’s wide acclaim from Wall Street. Prior to that, she was Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and then CFO at Morgan Stanley. If anyone can navigate an IPO they must resolve all the complex liquidation preferences in Uber’s financing, and sell the final product to Wall Street, it is someone with real experience. And appointing a woman at the highest level indicates w the company is sincere about changing its culture.