Special Report

Who Is on the Short List to Succeed Kalanick at Uber?


As Uber looks to put the controversy around its former CEO Travis Kalanick behind it, the ride-hailing company has been searching for a new chief executive.

According to reports, Uber would like to complete the search by Labor Day, so efforts to replace Kalanick are intensifying. Reaching a consensus on Kalanick’s successor is proving elusive. According to The New York Times, Uber’s eight-person board is divided over who should be the next CEO.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the possible candidates to succeed Kalanick and put together brief summaries of their careers.

Click here to see who is on the short list to succeed Kalanick at Uber.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Heisenberg Media / Wikimedia Commons

1. Travis Kalanick
> Age: 40
> Industry: Transportation
> Job status: Former CEO of Uber
> Net worth: $6.3 billion

Kalanick founded Uber in 2009 and has built it into a $70 billion company, fundamentally disrupting the transportation industry with his business model. Kalanick has been criticized for espousing Uber’s free-wheeling culture and take-no-prisoners approach to business. A series of problems that included claims of sexual harassment, discrimination and abusive behavior, as well as a video showing Kalanick abusing an Uber driver led to his resignation in June. However, there is speculation that Kalanick is working on a comeback, possibly through an alliance with Japanese internet company SoftBank, which is reportedly weighing an investment in Uber.


Source: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

2. Jeff Immelt
> Age: 61
> Industry: Industrial
> Job status: Former CEO at General Electric Company
> Net worth: $90 million

Jeff Immelt succeeded the legendary Jack Welch at General Electric in 2001. In his 16 years as CEO of GE, Immelt reshaped the company from an industrial-heavy conglomerate to a “digital industrial company,” adopting new technologies He sold off its plastics and financial services units and reduced GE’s presence in consumer products, focusing on its industrial and medical businesses. Immelt was named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s. However, the company’s stock underperformed during his time at GE. Since Immelt took over, the shares have fallen 30%, and GE now has the lowest weighting of any stock on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/c2mtl/

3. Arianna Huffington
> Age: 67
> Industry: Media
> Job status: Chief executive officer of Thrive Global
> Net worth: $50 million

Arianna Huffington started her media career as a conservative commentator, then switched to liberal politics and started the Huffington Post website in 2005. The Huffington Post was eventually purchased by AOL in 2011. Huffington is the author of books on politics, corporate America, and feminism. She left The Huffington Post to launch Thrive Global, a startup company focused on health and wellness. Huffington, incidentally, is a member of Uber’s search committee for the next CEO.

Source: Regi51 / Wikimedia Commons

4. Marissa Mayer
> Age: 42
> Industry: Technology
> Job status: Former chief executive officer/president of Yahoo
> Net worth: $540 million

Marissa Mayer launched her tech career as one of Google’s first employees and eventually became chief executive of Yahoo in July 2012. Traffic and advertising revenue at Yahoo continued to decline during her tenure, and net income plunged about 80%. Yahoo’s stock climbed 151% from the time Mayer became CEO until July 2016, when Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo. Mayer resigned from Yahoo when Verizon closed the acquisition in June.


Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/techcrunch/

5. Susan Wojcicki
> Age: 49
> Industry: Technology
> Job status: Chief executive officer of YouTube
> Net worth: $410 million

Susan Wojcicki was one of the first employees at Google and is considered one of the rising stars in the tech world. Wojcicki led Google’s purchase of YouTube in 2006. She has run the biggest online video platform in the world since February 2014. At the Vidcon conference in June where she gave the keynote address, Wojcicki said YouTube had 1.5 billion monthly users. Wojcicki is the mother of five and has been a proponent of paid family leave and an outspoken advocate for women aspiring to the executive suite.

Source: media.ford.com

6. Mark Fields
> Age: 56
> Industry: Automotive
> Job status: Former chief executive officer of Ford
> Net worth: N/A

The former CEO of Ford, Mark Fields was forced out in May after three years at the helm of the venerable automaker. Under Fields, the carmaker’s sales reached a record in both 2015 and 2016, rising with the overall industry. Since then, sales have decelerated and the company was concerned that under Fields Ford was not moving fast enough to develop technology for self-driving vehicles and electric cars. Prior to his stint as CEO, Fields was credited with turning around various units at Ford, including its North America operations.

Source: Ford Motor Company / Wikimedia Commons

7. Alan Mulally
> Age: 71
> Industry: Automotive
> Job status: Former Ford chief executive officer
> Net worth: N/A

Another former Ford CEO, Alan Mulally is credited with helping turn around the iconic automaker before he retired in 2014. Because of his experience in reversing the fortunes of a troubled company also in the transportation field, Mulally would appear to be among the most desirable candidates to succeed Kalanick. A former executive at Boeing, Mulally’s expertise in the automotive industry would help Uber as it looks to move forward in autonomous vehicle development.

Source: Josh Hallett / Wikimedia Commons

8. Thomas Staggs
> Age: 56
> Industry: Entertainment
> Job status: Former chief operating officer at Walt Disney Company
> Net worth: $72.1 million (accumulated compensation at Walt Disney Company

Thomas Staggs was COO at Walt Disney Company and the heir apparent to Chairman and CEO Bob Iger until he unexpectedly stepped down last year. He was a prime mover in Disney’s Shanghai Disneyland venture. Staggs joined Disney in 1990 and served in various capacities during his tenure. He joined the board of music-streaming company Spotify in May.


Source: Shashank Nigam / YouTube

9. David Cush
> Age: 57
> Industry: Airlines
> Job status: Executive Officer of Virgin America Inc.
> Net worth: Not available

David Cush was named CEO of Virgin America in 2007, shortly after the Richard Branson-backed carrier began flying. The airline went public in 2014, then was sold to Alaska Airlines last year for $2.6 billion. Cush served in various executive capacities at American Airlines before moving over to Virgin. He also has been involved with Silicon Valley Leadership Group since May 2010.

Source: twitter.com

10. Adam Bain
> Age: 44
> Industry: Technology
> Job status: Former chief operating officer at Twitter
> Net worth: Not available

Adam Bain was COO of Twitter from September 2015 until November 2016. He was rumored to be considered for the company’s CEO role in early 2015. Bain held other executive positions at the company. Prior to joining Twitter in 2010, he served as the president of Audience Network Division at Canvas Technology Inc. Before that, Bain worked in various executive capacities at News Corp.

Detailed Findings and Methodology:

Among the candidates is Jeff Immelt, outgoing CEO of General Electric Co. The Wall Street Journal said on July 28 that Uber’s search committee — which includes Kalanick — was in active discussions with Immelt about the post.

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman had apparently been a candidate for the top job at San Francisco-based Uber. Bloomberg News reported that she had met with the company. However, Whitman tweeted on July 27 that she will not be the next CEO of Uber.

Kalanick, who founded Uber, was forced to resign in June following a series of missteps involving the company, among them charges of sexual harassment against Uber and an embarrassing video that caught Kalanick abusing an Uber driver.

Other machinations involving Kalanick are afoot. Japanese internet company SoftBank is reportedly thinking about taking a multibillion-dollar stake in Uber. The speculation is Kalanick would use the SoftBank investment to dilute shareholders’ power. The thinking is Kalanick would try to turn SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son into an ally and help Kalanick return to power at Uber.

There is speculation Uber might hire a woman to head the beleaguered company. Among the women under consideration are Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington; ex-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer; and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

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