After deliberating for two days, Uber’s board finally voted on a new CEO, according to several sources close to the situation.
Sources said that former General Electric chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt presented his vision for the future of the company to the board in San Francisco this weekend, as did another unnamed male candidate.
A few of the board members have been troubled by a lot of the recent investor criticism he has attracted for his mixed tenure at GE after it became known he was a candidate for the job. In addition, sources said that Benchmark was worried that Immelt might be too accommodating to Kalanick and would allow him to return in too big a role at Uber.
“If Uber is going to have a fresh start, it should start off on a good foot,” said one person close to the situation. “And it would be better than shooting ourselves in the foot over and over again.”
Uber chose Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive of travel company Expedia, to be its new boss, ending a contentious search that has been particularly characterized by boardroom spats and controversies.
The announcement was made on Sunday, which comes as the ride-hailing service fights allegations of sexism and racism that led to the ousting of its founder, Travis Kalanick.
Khosrowshahi, a 48-year-old Iranian American who has led Expedia for 12 years, was a surprise appointment who beat Meg Whitman, the chief executive of HP Enterprise, and Jeff Immelt, the former CEO of General Electric, for the job.
Jeff Immelt announced that he was backing out of the contest for the top position at Uber via Twitter. He had “decided not to pursue a leadership position at Uber,” while expressing “immense respect” for the cab-hailing company and its founders.
Khosrowshahi will have to reform the company’s workplace culture, which is under inspection following accusations of sexual discrimination and harassment. He will also need to recruit new executives including a chief financial officer and chief operating officer, and deal with numerous legal situations that include an intellectual property dispute with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car spinoff. Most importantly, he will have to handle Kalanick’s interfering behavior.