Earlier this month, 24/7 Wall St. asked the question: Will Uber replace its CEO? This came after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick found himself in hot water when a video surfaced of him arguing with an Uber driver over lowering fares. This called into question his abilities to be an effective leader for Uber.
Now, instead of stepping down, Kalanick has come forward and announced that Uber is actively looking to hire a chief operating officer (COO) for the company. In a blog post on Uber’s site, Kalanick said that this person will be “a peer who can partner with me to write the next chapter in our journey.”
According to Recode, Uber has hired an executive search firm, and reportedly it has narrowed the search to two candidates. Even further, sources told Recode that Uber’s board would rather have a woman take over this executive role. Former Disney COO Tom Staggs and CVS executive Helena Foulkes are considered ideal candidates for the position.
Additionally, Uber is looking to fill a board seat recently vacated by Google executive David Drummond, and Uber is looking mainly at female candidates.
At the same time, Uber is undergoing a serious investigation into charges of sexism and sexual harassment within the company. The report is expect to come out just over a month from now, but in the meantime board member Arianna Huffington and HR head Liane Hornsey are working on new practices and rules to govern the company in relation to employee management. These include but are not limited to releasing a diversity report and creating an open channel for staff to file complaints over a range of issues.
Ultimately, this has been a huge “clean-up effort” for Uber to recover from a series of bad PR as of late. At the same time, the company is looking to empower more women in its workplace and change its culture, following the example set by Facebook in Silicon Valley.