The beleaguered ride-hailing app Uber is searching for a new CEO after a string of controversies including a purported atmosphere of sexual harassment at the company.
Former CEO, Travis Kalanick, a controversial figure himself, stepped down, hoping a new leader would help steady the company’s leadership. While the company’s search included several high-profile female executives, it appears as if the company could not convince a woman to sign on, and their short list has been narrowed to three men according to a report by the Washington Post last Friday.
Last month the company underwent a work place review by law firm Covington and Burling, who produced a 13-page report detailing how the company can improve. The company’s board unanimously accepted the recommendations of the report which included a stricter sexual harassment policy.
“Uber should consider adopting a zero-tolerance policy for substantiated complaints of discrimination and harassment, without regard to whether an employee is a ‘high performer’ or a long-term employee,” read the report. The toxic environment for women was spotlighted when a former employee wrote a blog post detailing how she was treated at Uber, prompting others to come forward.
Uber’s board was hoping to bring in a CEO that would help smooth over public relations for the company. Bringing in a woman would show that the company was earnestly trying to change its culture. Several high-profile women, however, apparently weren’t interested. Names associated with the search who have declined the role included Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg and Susan Wojcicki who heads YouTube, according to the Post. Sandberg was pushed as a choice by Uber’s board, especially Arianna Huffington. In her less than two years on the board, Huffington, former media mogul, has become an outspoken and influential member of the company’s leadership. Huffington was also rumored to be in consideration for the role. Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman publicly bowed out the search in a post on Twitter.
The three men on the short list to become head of Uber include Jeffrey Immelt who is leaving as the CEO of General Electric, according to the Financial Times. The role is seen as not particularly desirable given the circumstances of it being a cleanup job, and the strong-headed Kalanick, 41, still remains a member of the board of the company he co-founded. According to the Times, Kalanick is involved in the search to find his replacement.
- Is Jeffrey Immelt (ex-CEO general Electric) interested in this clean-up job?