Kalan­ick’s ghost still haunts Uber

New Straits Times - - Business -

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Uber Tech­nolo­gies Inc ex­ec­u­tives are try­ing to ease ten­sions stem­ming from Travis Kalan­ick’s at­tempts, in the weeks since he was ousted, to re­main in­volved with the busi­ness and even­tu­ally seek a new role there.

Gar­rett Camp, an Uber co­founder and board mem­ber, sought to re­as­sure em­ploy­ees on Mon­day that the search for a new leader was the board’s top pri­or­ity.

In a staff email, Camp said Kalan­ick wouldn’t re­turn as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO), re­spond­ing to re­ports that the for­mer CEO had pri­vately ex­pressed in­ter­est in com­ing back to Uber in a new full-time po­si­tion.

“Uber must evolve and ma­ture,” wrote Camp, who started the com­pany with Kalan­ick in 2009. “We are com­mit­ted to hir­ing a new world-class CEO to lead Uber.”

Kalan­ick re­signed in June un­der pres­sure from top in­vestors, who said he put the com­pany at le­gal risk dur­ing his ten­ure. Since then, he has been an­gling to re­tain in­flu­ence in man­age­ment of the com­pany.

Kalan­ick, who still sits on the board, may even­tu­ally seek a new role for him­self in­side Uber to work along­side the next CEO.

Uber, val­ued at about US$69 bil­lion (RM259.7 bil­lion), is cur­rently con­sid­er­ing can­di­dates for the job, in­clud­ing for­mer Gen­eral Elec­tric CEO Jef­frey Im­melt.

Mean­while, a po­ten­tial deal be­tween Uber and SoftBank Group Corp re­mains in ne­go­ti­a­tions, which ap­pear to be play­ing out in public this week.

Masayoshi Son, head of the Ja­panese in­vest­ment firm, told an­a­lysts on Mon­day that he was also weigh­ing po­ten­tial for an in­vest­ment in Lyft Inc, Uber’s main ri­val.

BLOOMBERG PIC

For­mer Uber Tech­nolo­gies Inc chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Travis Kalan­ick (in­set) has pri­vately ex­pressed an in­ter­est in com­ing back to the com­pany.

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