Uber CEO says com­pany on track for 2019 IPO

Chief of ride-hail­ing giant says the “right set of share­hold­ers” will wel­come com­pany’s go­ing pub­lic

The Mercury News Weekend - - SPORTS - SETTING A DATE By Ethan Baron ebaron@ba­yare­anews­group.com

Let the count­down be­gin: Uber will go pub­lic in 2019, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi re­vealed Thurs­day at a con­fer­ence

hos­row­shahi, who in Au­gust took over lead­er­ship of the scan­dal-plagued ride- hail­ing giant af­ter Travis Kalan­ick re­signed in June, had said soon af­ter tak­ing the reins that the IPO would hap­pen dur­ing the fol­low­ing 18 to 36 months. Kalan­ick re­mains on the com­pany’s board.

At the New York Times’ “Deal­book” con­fer­ence in New York City, Khosrowshahi spec­i­fied that the IPO would take place in 2019.

“We have all of the dis­ad­van­tages of be­ing a pub­lic com­pany, as far as the spot­light on us, with­out any of the ad­van­tages,” Khosrowshahi said. “Travis and the whole board now agree we should just go pub­lic. The num­bers sup­port it.

“If you set up the com­pany in the right way and you are hon­est and plain­spo­ken to your in­vestors about be­ing a long-termplayer, about sac­ri­fic­ing short-term quar­terly re­sults for long-term gain, you will find that right set of share­hold­ers who will sup­port you.”

Uber is in themid­dle of ne­go­ti­a­tions with Soft­Bank for a multi-bil­lion- dol­lar in­vest­ment that would give the Ja­panese tech ti­tan a 14 per­cent to 20 per­cent stake in Uber, which is val­ued at

nearly $70 bil­lion.

Khosrowshahi said Soft­Bank didn’t have “any par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est” in an IPO.

“They are the ul­ti­mate long- term in­vestor,” he said.

Uber’s board ousted Kalan­ick af­ter the firm was en­gulfed by a se­ries of con- tro­ver­sies al­legedly stem­ming from a reck­less, misog­y­nist com­pany cul­ture that led to sex­ual ha­rass­ment, bul­ly­ing and se­cret tech­nol­ogy for evad­ing au­thor­i­ties’ over­sight.

For­mer Uber en­gi­neer Su­san Fowler, whose al­le­ga­tions about sex­ual ha­rass­ment at the com­pany helped bring down Kalan­ick, has a book deal for a memior, pub­lisher Vik­ing an­nounced Thurs­day.

“Fowler will ex­pose the sys­temic f laws ram­pant in the startup cul­ture through her shock­ing and gal­va­niz­ing per­sonal story of work­ing as a ju­nior en­gi­neer at the most valu­able startup in the his­tory of Sil­i­con Val­ley, and the pre­vi­ously un­re­ported de­tails of what hap­pened af­ter she went pub­lic with the ha­rass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion she faced there,” Vik­ing said, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported. “Her bot­tom-up view of what it’s re­ally like to be a fe­male, en­try-level em­ployee in­side this ma­jor driver of the Amer­i­can econ­omy will offer cru­cial in­sight into how all women — not just those at the top — can nav­i­gate chal­leng­ing work en­vi­ron­ments.”


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