After Meg Whitman denied she was interested in the CEO position last week, Uber is in a dilemma as her elimination leaves the company with only male candidates for the open CEO position. There are reports that former CEO Travis Kalanick has insisted on a comeback and is attempting to pull a “Steve Jobs” to regain his former position at the company.
With Whitman out of the picture, there are apparently 4 candidates left on Uber’s potential CEO list. The only issue is that every candidate is male, currently a CEO, and among those 4 men, only one is a person of color. The lack of diversity and the role of women within the company are issues that the ride-sharing company is trying to fix, and if they fall into the same pit, it could prove to be counterproductive and backfire on their goal of fixing the company’s image. Executive-recruiting expert Jason Hanold said the following about the gender issue:
“While a female CEO would be terrific for the organization, the gender of the CEO ought not be prioritized over the critical need of attracting the very best CEO, regardless of gender… Uber needs a compassionate, proven, authentic and brilliant leader.”
General Electric’s outgoing CEO Jeffrey Immelt is one of the candidates, but according to several sources, Immelt is not the top choice for the position. General Electric’s shares fell 33% during his 16-year tenure at the company and he has been criticized for “overpaying for some acquisitions and cutting shareholder dividends in 2009.” Although some argue he’s an experienced manager, some also say he lacks the entrepreneurial drive the company needs to take its growth to the next level.
Uber does need to realize that Travis Kalanick’s re-entry to the company will not resolve any of the issues they are currently facing and will not clean up their public image completely. It is unclear who the ride-sharing giant will choose, but they must choose their new leader both quickly and wisely.