Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is apparently attempting to pull a “Steve-Jobs” and return to his former position. Kalanick resigned in September after sexual harassment allegations from a former Uber employee and other issues within the ride-sharing company.
In February, an Uber employee wrote a blog post that expressed “persistent harassment and sexism at the company.” The blog post garnered the attention of many and tampered with Uber’s public image and the treatment of women in the workplace. A video was also released that showed Kalanick harass and shout at an Uber driver, which gives substance to the claims that Kalanick is not modeled for a CEO position. Also, in recent news, an Uber executive was fired after he “reportedly accessed the medical records of a victim who had been raped by an Uber driver in India; and the company used secret software to dodge city regulators.”
Kalanick is not helping Uber’s cause with his current position as a board member, and potential suitors seem threatened and weary of Kalanick’s participation in the company’s affairs. According to Recode, several candidates were interviewed and contacted for the CEO position but all reportedly cited Kalanick as one of Uber’s biggest continuing problems.
Anonymously, a candidate spoke of Travis Kalanick saying, “Man, he’s brilliant and so important, but who wants to deal with Travis?” Although some have ridiculed a potential comeback, more than 1,000 Uber employees have reportedly circulated a petition to support bringing Kalanick back as the CEO of the company.
Uber has narrowed its potential CEO candidates in recent weeks, but with Meg Whitman removing herself from the discussion, many continue to question the lack of diversity within the company’s executives. It is undetermined if Kalanick will “Steve-Job” his way back to being CEO, but it would be a questionable decision on behalf of Uber if it were to happen.